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5 new books to read this week

This week’s bookcase includes reviews of The Therapist by BA Paris and I Am A Girl From Africa by Elizabeth Nyamayaro.

Prudence Wade
Wednesday 28 April 2021 09:37

Curl up with a dark family drama, or keep things light with a judo-loving guinea pig…

Fiction

1. The Therapist by BA Paris is published in hardback by HQ, priced £12.99 (ebook £7.99). Available now

When Alice and Leo move into an exclusive gated community called The Circle, the house initially seems perfect. But as Alice gets to know her neighbours, she discovers a gruesome secret about the house’s past and becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what really happened two years ago. This dark family drama will have readers racing through the pages, and is the kind of book you devour in one sitting. There is a palpable sense of tension that builds to a devastating conclusion. A truly emotive read about a house that holds a shocking secret, and those who will go to extreme lengths to keep it hidden.9/10(Review by Megan Baynes)

2. Of Women And Salt by Gabriela Garcia is published in hardback by Picador, priced £14.99 (ebook £8.49). Available now

Gabriela Garcia’s debut is a multi-generational family story encompassing themes of survival, addiction and storytelling. The characters, featuring five generations of mothers and daughters, traverse time and culture from present-day Miami and 1860s Cuba, and are affected by the violence of war, revolution and abuse. The narrative explores the US immigration system, the unspoken conflicts between migrant communities and their efforts to hold on to their identities in a new country. Its strengths meanwhile lie in the untold stories from often silenced and overlooked groups, but the plot feels overly eventful at times, with chapters appearing episodic – arguably lessening the emotional impact.7/10(Review by Jessica Frank-Keyes)

3. This One Sky Day by Leone Ross is published in hardback by Faber & Faber, priced £16.99 (ebook £7.49). Available now

Set on the surreal and hugely imaginative fictional land of Popisho, This One Sky Day introduces the reader to an eccentric universe where butterflies are edible and each human is blessed with their own form of magic. With colour and eccentricity, the beauty of a Caribbean-like landscape unfolds and three characters come to the fore as their paths are followed over the span of a day. The world conjured by Leone Ross is in most ways unrecognisable from our own, but the humour, warmth and emotion of those characters is somehow completely familiar – and that is what makes this difficult to define and at times bizarre novel, so compelling.7/10(Review by Molly Hunter)

Non-fiction

4. I Am A Girl From Africa by Elizabeth Nyamayaro is published in hardback by Scribner, priced £20 (ebook £9.99). Available now

Rescued from starvation during a Zimbabwean drought, a young Elizabeth Nyamayaro becomes fixated on emulating her saviour: a United Nations (UN) aid worker. Her new memoir charts that extraordinary journey, from rural village to senior adviser at the UN. Battling seemingly insurmountable hardships – poverty, prejudice and educational barriers – Nyamayaro’s compassion and determination to change lives takes her from Harare to London, Geneva, New York and beyond. A central moving thread is the love and support given by family and friends, whose sacrifices and wisdom shape her humanitarian outlook. Throughout her honest and emotional account, Nyamayaro also makes space for the voices of the victims of health inequalities she works hard to help. While sharing examples of progress, such as launching the global HeForShe movement for gender equality, Nyamayaro also highlights persistent injustices. Her remarkable story of perseverance provides ample inspiration to join the fight for change.7/10(Review by Tom Pilgrim)

Children’s book of the week

5. Weirdo by Zadie Smith and Nick Laird, illustrated by Magenta Fox, is published in hardback by Puffin, priced £12.99 (ebook £8.99). Available now

It’s tough being new – as Kit’s birthday present, a judo-loving guinea pig called Maud, discovers when Kit’s other pets call her a weirdo just because she doesn’t look like them or know their routine. Will she try to change herself to fit in, or will a friendly neighbour in their block of flats show her it’s better just to be herself? This sweet first children’s book by adult novelists (and married couple) Zadie Smith and Nick Laird does not try to talk down to its young readers, and its uplifting storyline lets the beautiful pastel art of illustrator Magenta Fox do a lot of the work. Parents reading along can point out charming pictorial details to enrich the words – it’s a perfect introduction to comic-book style stories for three to seven-year-olds.8/10(Review by Natalie Bowen)

BOOK CHARTS FOR THE WEEK ENDING APRIL 24

HARDBACK (FICTION)1. Klara And The Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro2. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman3. A Court Of Silver Flames by Sarah J Maas4. Turn A Blind Eye by Jeffrey Archer5. The Lamplighters by Emma Stonex6. First Person Singular by Haruki Murakami7. The Dream Weavers by Barbara Erskine8. The Legacy Of War by Wilbur Smith & David Churchill9. Girl In The Walls by AJ Gnuse10. Blackout by Simon Scarrow(Compiled by Waterstones)

HARDBACK (NON-FICTION)1. The Power Of Geography by Tim Marshall, Tim2. The Boy, The Mole, The Fox And The Horse by Charlie Mackesy3. The Madness Of Grief by Reverend Richard Coles4. Working Hard, Hardly Working by Grace Beverley5. Pinch Of Nom Quick & Easy by Kay Featherstone & Kate Allinson6. Letters To Camondo by Edmund de Waal7. Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given8. Philip: The Final Portrait by Gyles Brandreth9. One: Pot, Pan, Planet by Anna Jones10. Barbarossa: How Hitler Lost The War by Jonathan Dimbleby, Jonathan(Compiled by Waterstones)

AUDIOBOOKS (FICTION AND NON-FICTION)1. Piranesi by Susanna Clarke2. The Midnight Library by Matt Haig3. If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane4. Mr Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo5. The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman6. Why We Eat (Too Much) by Dr Andrew Jenkinson7. Atomic Habits by James Clear8. Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey9. The Beekeeper Of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri10. A Promised Land by Barack Obama(Compiled by Audible)