Paperbacks: Things to Make and Mend by Ruth Thomas

Faber £7.99

An award-winning writer of short fiction, Ruth Thomas's first novel shows her talent for stitching together touching and comic moments from ordinary lives.

As schoolgirls in the 1970s, Sally and Rowena are inseparable, united by teen misery and a near-hysterical scorn for sewing lessons. Now in their forties and single mothers, they are re-united at a needlepoint symposium in Edinburgh. In a series of flashbacks, Thomas unravels the lives of two women whose adult achievements would have been classified by their old teacher as a "terrible waste of brains." A set-text for old girls everywhere.