Books for Christmas: Best of the sets (pt.2)

• Dec 20, 2018 •

Elizabeth Day. Author of the bestselling novel The Party (‘Think Brideshead Revisited meets The Talented Mr Ripley with a dash of The Riot Club‘ according to Louise O’Neill) and host of one of the most successful and best-loved podcasts of 2018 – How To Fail with Elizabeth Day. She also has three other utterly fantastic books to her name: Paradise CityScissors, Paper, Stone and Home Fires. If you’ve not read them yet – what are you waiting for?

Scissors, Paper, Stone

A frank and beautiful story of damage, survival and restoration from an exhilarating literary voice.

As Charles Redfern lies motionless in hospital, his wife Anne and daughter Charlotte are forced to confront their relationships with him – and with each other. Anne, once beautiful and clever, has paled in the shadow of her husband’s dominance. Charlotte, meanwhile, is battling with her own inner darkness and is desperate to prevent her relationship with her not-yet-divorced lover from disintegrating.

As the full truth of Charles’s hold over them is brought to light, both women must reconcile themselves with the choices they have made, the secrets they have kept, and the uncertain future that now lies ahead of them.

Home Fires

A stunning, delicate portrait of a family bookended by war, Home Fires explores the legacy of loss, the strictures of class and the long road to redemption.

Max Weston, twenty-one, leaves for his first army posting in central Africa. What happens to him changes the lives of his family forever. At home, his parents struggle to cope. The overwhelming love Caroline has always felt for her only child is now matched by the intensity of Max’s absence. The silence is broken by the arrival of Caroline’s mother-in-law, Elsa, who at the age of ninety-eight can no longer look after herself. After years of living in fear of putting a foot wrong in front of this elegant, cuttingly courteous lady, finally, Caroline has the upper hand.

Paradise City

An audacious, compassionate state-of-the-nation novel about four strangers whose lives collide with far-reaching consequences.

Beatrice Kizza, a woman in flight from a homeland that condemned her for daring to love, flees to London. There, she shields her sorrow from the indifference of her adopted city, and navigates a night-time world of shift-work and bedsits.

Howard Pink is a self-made millionaire who has risen from Petticoat Lane to the mansions of Kensington on a tide of determination and bluster. Yet self-doubt still snaps at his heels and his life is shadowed by the terrible loss that has shaken him to his foundations.

Carol Hetherington, recently widowed, is living the quiet life in Wandsworth with her cat and The Jeremy Kyle Show for company. As she tries to come to terms with the absence her husband has left on the other side of the bed, she frets over her daughter’s prospects and wonders if she’ll ever be happy again.

Esme Reade is a young journalist learning to muck-rake and doorstep in pursuit of the elusive scoop, even as she longs to find some greater meaning and leave her imprint on the world.

Four strangers, each inhabitants of the same city, where the gulf between those who have too much and those who will never have enough is impossibly vast. But when the glass that separates Howard’s and Beatrice’s worlds is shattered by an inexcusable act, they discover that the capital has connected them in ways they could never have imagined.

The Party

A gripping story of betrayal, privilege and hypocrisy, set in the unassailable heart of the British establishment.

Martin Gilmour and Ben Fitzmaurice have been best friends for 25 years, since their days together at Burtonbury School.

They are an unlikely pair: the scholarship boy with the wrong accent and clothes, and the dazzlingly popular, wealthy young aristocrat. But Martin knows no one else can understand the bond they share – and no one else could have kept Ben’s secret for over two decades.

At Ben’s 40th birthday party, the cream of the British establishment gathers in a haze of champagne, drugs and glamour. Amid the politicians, the celebrities, the old money and the newly rich, Martin once again feels that pang of not quite belonging. His wife Lucy has her reservations, too. There is something unnerving in the air. But Ben wouldn’t do anything to damage their friendship. Would he?

PSST! Coming out in April next year…

How To Fail
Available for pre-order now.

A brilliantly funny, painfully honest and insightful celebration of the things that haven’t gone right.

The biggest, most transformative moments of my life – those pivotal points where I learned important and necessary truths about myself – came through crisis or failure. They came when I least expected them, when I felt ill-equipped to deal with the fallout. And yet each time, I had survived

Based on Elizabeth Day’s hugely popular podcast, and including fascinating insights gleaned from her journalistic career of celebrity interviews, How to Fail is part memoir, part manifesto. It is a book for anyone who has ever failed. Which means it’s a book for everyone.

Including chapters on success, dating, work, sport, relationships, families and friendship, it is based on the simple premise that understanding why we fail ultimately makes us stronger. It’s a book about learning from our mistakes and about not being afraid.

Uplifting and inspiring and rich in personal anecdote, How to Fail reveals that failure is not what defines us; rather it is how we respond to it that shapes us as individuals. Because learning how to fail is actually learning how to succeed better. And everyone needs a bit of that.

Looking for more gift inspo? Check out our guides for Sistersliterary lovers , the aspiring chefs and the deep thinkers.

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