Nine books that you must read this summer

After a bit of a write-off last summer, we’re all dreaming of a little escapism in 2021. With trips abroad hanging in the balance, Margaret Hussey rounds up nine summer reads that should be on your radar.

Already snapped up for the small screen, Other People’s Clothes, the debut novel by Calla Henkel, vividly transports you to Berlin in 2009. It follows arts students Zoe and Hailey as they party hard and live it large – with a mysterious landlady, crime writer Beatrice Becks, lurking in the background. Out on July 8.

Bursting with historical detail The Wolf Den by Elodie Harper, tells the story of Amara, a slave in Pompeii’s famous brothel, The Lupanar. Following her and her band of “she-wolves”/prostitutes, it’s unflinching in the accounts of their daily lives and degradations. Yet the sisterhood and human spirit shines through. The first in a trilogy. Out now.

When Laurie’s husband Mark suddenly vanishes, she takes weeks to let anyone know. What follows in Ghosted: A Love Story is a brilliantly played tale of loss, grief and family burdens. By Betty Trask winner Jenn Ashworth, it’s out on June 10. 

Set against the pulsating backdrop of Tokyo, Fault Lines by Emily Itami, follows the life of Japanese housewife and mum of two Mizuki. Her humdrum life is turned around when she meets entrepreneur Kiyoshi and a spark is ignited. Out May 27.

The 21st book from the multi-million selling Adele Parks, Both of You focuses on Leigh Fletcher and Kai Janssen, two women from totally different backgrounds who suddenly vanish. With corkscrew twists and turns, this psychological thriller is vintage Parks. Out May 27.

When 70-somethings Grace, Meg and Daphne stumble across 17-year-old Nina in a cafe, their decision to protect her is paramount. Who is she running from and is murder the only way to stop them? Rosalind Stopps’ A Beginner’s Guide to Murder is dark and deft. Out July 22.

Firmly plonked in suburbia, Everyone Is Still Alive follows Juliet who inherits her mum’s house as well as new neighbours, snobbery and rivalries. Handled with great warmth and heart by Cathy Rentzenbrick, it’s out on July 8. 

This coming-of-age novel set in the care system is at times a tough read but Kirsty Capes treats Careless with sensitivity and gives a voice to an under-represented community. It will take you back to teenage angst, friendships and painful love. Out now. 

From Aliya Ali-Afzal, Would I Lie to You follows Faiza, who tries to fit in with the blow-dried, skinny-jeaned mums at the school gate. But keeping up appearances costs money and her big lie of spending the family’s savings spirals out of control. Out July 8.

Featured image: Fault Lines, by Emily Itami, courtesy of publisher

Further images: courtesy of publishers

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