7 Books to Make You Feel like You’re on a Beach
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Whilst white sands and crystal clear waters might be out of the question right now, it doesn’t hurt to relax. Let us bring the beach to you with our round up of summery reads. Here are 7 books to make you feel like you’re on a beach…
7 Books to Make You Feel like You’re on a Beach
Moving, powerful and compassionate, The Beekeeper of Aleppo is a testament to the triumph of the human spirit.
‘Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo – until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape. But what Afra has seen is so terrible she has gone blind, and so they must embark on a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece towards an uncertain future in Britain. On the way, Nuri is sustained by the knowledge that waiting for them is Mustafa, his cousin and business partner, who has started an apiary and is teaching fellow refugees in Yorkshire to keep bees. As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss, but dangers that would overwhelm the bravest of souls. Above all – and perhaps this is the hardest thing they face – they must journey to find each other again.’
For fans of: The Tattooist of Auschwitz, The Kite Runner, The Other Hand
An escapist holiday read with depth and drama set on the beautiful island of Santorini.
‘Sent away to convent school at the age of six, Irini McGuire has never really known her celebrated archaeologist mother, Bridget, who lives on the paradise island of Santorini. So, when Irini receives news that Bridget has been injured at a dig and is in coma she knows it is time to return to the island of her birth. Discovering her mother’s notes and driven by rumours that her mother’s injury was no accident, Irini starts to reveal the dark secrets behind her family’s separation. Can she unearth the truth about her parents and her past before it is too late?’
For fans of: Victoria Hislop, Lucinda Riley, Rosanna Ley
A sophisticated and original thriller that will really get you thinking as it explores fractured modern lives.
‘We all recognise them. Those who exist just on the fringes of society. Who send prickles up the back of our necks. The charmers. The liars. The manipulators. Those who have the potential to go that one step too far. And then take another step. Jessamine Gooch makes a living from these people. Each week she broadcasts a radio show looking into the past lives of convicted killers; asking if there was more that could have been done to prevent their terrible crimes. Then one day she is approached by a woman desperate to find her missing friend, Cassie, fearing her abusive husband may have taken that final deadly step. But as Jessamine delves into the months prior to Cassie’s disappearance she fails to realise there is a dark figure closer to home, one that threatens the safety of her own family. What if the people we trust are the ones we should fear?’
One of the best audiobooks for fans of: Erin Kelly’s He Said/She Said.
Two lonely women. An unlikely friendship. And one big life lesson: never be ashamed to ask for more…
‘After a major life upheaval on the eve of her 40th birthday, a reluctant Kate Parker finds herself volunteering at Lauderdale House for Exceptional Ladies. There she meets 97-year-old Cecily Finn. Cecily’s tongue is as sharp as her mind but she has lost her spark, simply resigning herself to the Imminent End. Having no patience with Kate’s plight, Cecily prescribes her a self-help book with a difference – it’s a 1957 cookery manual, featuring menus for anything life can throw at ‘the easily dismayed’. The cookbook holds the secrets of Cecily’s own remarkable past, and the story of the love of her life. It will certainly teach Kate a thing or two. So begins an unlikely friendship between two lonely and stubborn souls – one at the end of her life, one stuck in the middle – who come to show each other that food is for feasting, life is for living and the way to a man’s heart is… irrelevant!’
For fans of: Three Things About Elsie, The Lido, and Eleanor Oliphant
Seven days. Three families. One killer.
‘It was supposed to be the perfect holiday, dreamed up by Kate as the ideal way to turn 40: four best friends and their husbands and children in a luxurious villa under the blazing sunshine of Languedoc-Roussillon. But there is trouble in paradise. Kate suspects that her husband is having an affair, and that the other woman is one of her best friends. One of these women is willing to sacrifice years of friendship and destroy her family. But which one? As Kate closes in on the truth in the stifling Mediterranean heat, she realises too late that the stakes are far higher than she ever imagined. Because someone in the villa is prepared to kill to keep their secret hidden.’
For fans of: Lee Child
Outstanding, humorous, moving and thought-provoking – a really important read. One of the best audiobooks for summer 2019.
‘‘’Build them a mosque, beta. Build them a mosque.” For years Bilal Hasham and his wife Mariam have lived contented, quiet lives in the sleepy rural village of Babbel’s End. Now all that is about to change. On her deathbed, Bilal’s mother reaches for his hand. Instead of whispering her final prayers, she gives him a task: build a mosque in his country village. Mariam is horrified by Bilal’s plan. His friends and neighbours are unnerved. As outrage sweeps Babbel’s End, battle lines are drawn. His mother’s dying wish reveals deeper divisions in their village than Bilal had ever imagined. Soon Bilal is forced to choose between community and identity, between faith and friendship, between honouring his beloved mother’s last wish and preserving what is held dear in the place that he calls home.’
For fans of: Casual Vacancy, The Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and Mr Rosenblum’s List
For two sworn enemies, anything can happen during the Hawaiian trip of a lifetime…
‘Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man. Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs. Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.’
For fans of: Feel-good romcoms such as The Flatshare and If I Never Met You
Meet Rosemary, 86, and Kate, 26: dreamers, campaigners, outdoor swimmers…
‘Rosemary has lived in Brixton all her life, but everything she knows is changing. Only the local lido, where she swims every day, remains a constant reminder of the past and her beloved husband George. Kate has just moved and feels adrift in a city that is too big for her. She’s on the bottom rung of her career as a local journalist, and is determined to make something of it. So when the lido is threatened with closure, Kate knows this story could be her chance to shine. But for Rosemary, it could be the end of everything. Together they are determined to make a stand, and to prove that the pool is more than just a place to swim – it is the heart of the community.’
For fans of: Celeste Ng and Sally Rooney