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BOOKS

THE LIVES BEFORE US

“I wasn’t sure I liked the sound of it. Even my vivid imagination could hardly fathom a place as tight, or dense, or narrow as Shanghai...”

 

It’s April 1939, and, in Berlin and Vienna, Esther and Kitty face a brutal choice. Flee Europe, or face the ghetto, incarceration, death.

 

Shanghai … They’ve heard it whispered that Shanghai might offer refuge. And so, on a crowded ocean liner, these women encounter each other for the first time.

 

Kitty has been lured to the other side of the world with promises of luxury, love and marriage. But when her Russian fiancé reveals his hand, she’s left to scratch a vulnerable living in Shanghai’s nightclubs and dark corners. Meanwhile, Esther and her daughter shelter in a house of widows until Aaron, a hot-headed former lover, brings fresh hope of survival.

 

Then, as the Japanese army enters the fray and violence mounts, the women are thrown together in Shanghai’s most desperate times. Together they must fight a future for the lives that will follow theirs.

 

A beautifully-written, sweeping story of survival, community and love from the author of The Uncommon Life of Alfred Warner in Six Days.

"Once you start reading this, you'll have to finish."

ELISABETH GIFFORD

THE UNCOMMON LIFE OF ALFRED WARNER IN SIX DAYS

Approaching 80, frail and alone, a remarkable man makes the journey from his sheltered home in England to Berlin to meet his granddaughter. He has six days left to live and must relate his life story before he dies...

His life has been rich and full. He has witnessed first-hand the rise of the Nazis, experienced heartrending family tragedy, fought in the German army, been interred in a POW camp in Scotland and faced violent persecution in peacetime Britain. But he has also touched many lives, fallen deeply in love, raised a family and survived triumphantly at the limits of human endurance. He carries within him an astonishing family secret that he must share before he dies ... a story that will mean someone else s salvation.

Welcome to the moving, heart-warming and uncommon life of Alfred Warner.

"Written with style and sympathy. It is sure to keep you entertained while inviting you to question Western culture's many assumptions about illness and identity." THE COURIER (Scottish Book of the Week)

THE FRACTURED MAN

London, 1920. Elliot Taverley is an ambitious young psychoanalyst specialising in the new and controversial field of handwriting analysis. When he receives a visit from a man who seems to change personality when he copies others handwriting, Elliot is intrigued and soon becomes obsessed with the man and his mysterious disorder. Spiralling into an increasingly bizarre cat-and-mouse chase and with with his mind collapsing, Elliot is forced to confront his difficult childhood and the horrors of war in Arctic Russia in a desperate search for the truth. The Fractured Man is one of the most explosive debuts of the year a psychological thriller that takes us through a war-ravaged Europe and the dark minds that inhabit it to a shocking conclusion.

"An addictive thriller ... deliciously dark and hypnotic, a psychological thriller fused with the spine-tingling atmosphere of a ghost story." THE LIST