the literary lounge

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  It’s no surprise that Keep You Close, the new book from former FBI agent-turned-author Karen Cleveland, has been so highly anticipated. Need to Know, her debut novel, was a runaway success, going to auction, critically received on publication and optioned for the big screen. The central premise of this new novel is how far … Continue readings

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  Early on in Sarah Henstra’s The Red Word, protagonist Karen wakes up in ‘someone’s backyard’, wearing ‘boxer shorts, one turquoise jelly sandal’ and ‘no bra’. She tells Steph, the woman who finds her, that she’s had sex. ‘On purpose?’ Steph asks. ‘There was a frat party,’ she responds. The party was at GBC (Gamma … Continue readings

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  Tim Lott’s new novel, When We Were Rich, published today by Scribner, revisits the main characters of Whitbread-winner White City Blue. Opening just before the Millennium, in Blair’s Britain, we are reunited with Frankie Blue and old mates Nodge and Colin, with Diamond Tony lurking in the background. It ends in 2008, when the … Continue readings

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  We’re far too big for Italy. Big and white and blond, we barely fit around the table at the restaurant that evening. The furniture and interiors have been designed with trim little Italians in mind, not Dad and Håkon, both almost six feet four inches tall; not for such long arms and legs; not … Continue readings

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  Best-selling author Ali McNamara takes us away on deliciously entertaining adventures in her novels. In Secrets and Seashells at Rainbow Bay, her latest book, we follow single mother Amelia Harris and her young son Charlie as they embark on a veritable rags-to-riches journey, from borderline poverty to life in a medieval castle on the … Continue readings

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    Gordon Kerr’s new novel, The Partisan Heart, utilises the dual timeline and Second World War setting, both so popular at the moment. Moving between the war-torn northern Italy of 1944 and London and Italy of the late 1990s, the book is part thriller, part historical drama. The ‘now’ and ‘then’ intersect in the … Continue readings

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  We’re delighted to welcome writer CHARLIE LAIDLAW to The Literary Lounge. The author of two books, Charlie publishes his third, The Space Between Time, this month with Accent Press.     First of all, Charlie, thank you so much for joining us and for taking the time to answer our questions.     LS: … Continue readings

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  Rough Magic is the kind of book I devoured as a child, a rip-roaring, triumph-against-adversity adventure, set in a faraway, exotic locale, told by the real-life hero, who usually, 99 per cent of the time, was male. In this case, the hero of the story is actually a heroine … and, God, ain’t that … Continue readings

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  We read Felicity McLean’s very filmic debut novel, The Van Apfel Girls Are Gone, with Nick Cave’s Murder Ballads playing in the background. It somehow seemed fitting, as did Portishead’s Dummy, which followed. Set in a fictional rural location near Sydney, the novel centres on the disappearance of three sisters, Hannah, Cordelia and Ruth … Continue readings

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  I recently reread Elizabeth Smart’s classic By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept, which I first devoured as an eager teen and have come back to many times since. It resonated then, the language so beautiful, the emotion so raw. It still rates as one of my top books about love – … Continue readings

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  The wonderful thing about historical memoir is that quite often key events are brought to our attention which make us realise how far we’ve come and yet how far we still have to go. Elaine M. Chamber’s This Queer Angel, detailing her very personal fight for sexual equality in the armed forces, is one … Continue readings

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  Jodie Jackson’s You Are What You Read: Why Changing Your Media Diet Can Change the World is what all good non-fiction should be – exciting, challenging and perceptive. That said, we are Jackson’s readership. The people who’ve stopped reading newspapers, watching the news, even watching terrestrial television because we’re irritated with the way in … Continue readings

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  We do love a good storyteller and international bestselling writer Victoria Hislop is certainly that. From the days of highly acclaimed The Island, Hislop has captivated with her well-researched, historically based tomes. Those Who Are Loved, her latest offering which is published today, continues this trend. The frame for the book is an elderly … Continue readings

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  ‘Let him be an example. My Frank. Of how to live best, and to stop all this death. Let them put down their knives, stop being ruled by fear. They are all so fearful, that’s why my boy died. Not because another kid was showing off, as the papers said, not muscles being flexed. … Continue readings

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  A beautifully nuanced novel, Permission by Saskia Vogel is a sometimes challenging and often lyrical exploration of longing, loneliness and loss. Following her father’s tragic death, LA actress Echo struggles to deal with her bereavement – ‘the gape of loss’. Cast adrift, she embarks on a series of meaningless encounters with men, before meeting … Continue readings

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