• Teaching, Language & Reference
      January 2009

      Sorbonne Confidential

      by Laurel Zuckerman

      After losing her high tech job in Paris, Alice Wunderland dreams of a new, unemployment-proof career as English teacher and decides to dedicate a year to training for France's prestigious competitive exam; After all, she reasons, how hard can it be for an educated American to pass a test in English? She enrolls at the Sorbonne, but her Arizona English fails to impress. Even Shakespeare's English falls short. Only one English will do: Sorbonne English! Even while learning this new language, Alice vows to investigate: Why devise an English exam that few native speakers can pass ? Could this explain why French schoolchildren rank last for English skills in Europe? Is it true that Frenchness is a question of formatting? If so, can a foreigner even one with French nationality ever become truly French? As riots break out in France among the children of immigrants, Alice cannot help but wonder: could there be any connection between her bewildering experience and theirs? A hilarious, hair-raising insider's look at the esoteric world of French Education. (Harriet Welty Rochefort --author of French Toast).

    • Fiction
      September 2017

      Invisible Scars

      by Peter Sykes

      Whilst Paul and Kate work alongside each other as doctor and nurse on the surgical ward, strains in their relationship emerge. And when Kate's baby dies and Paul's inexperience costs lives, doubt and despair hang in the air and their marriage appears to be doomed. However, in a dramatic turn of events, Paul saves the life of a critically ill patient and Kate is finally able to bid an emotional farewell to the child she has lost. Will their marriage survive the stresses of their hospital work and their past traumas?

    • Fiction
      January 2016

      Bonds of Love and Blood

      by Marylee Macdonald

      Whether far from home or longing to escape, the people in these stories find themselves displaced from their normal routines. They misread the signals and wind up stranded on lonely beaches or seizing the moment before happiness flits away. "MacDonald applies insight, power, and delicacy to create characters between whom the psychic space virtually sizzles." —FOREWORD REVIEWS "engrossing"—MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW "With elegant prose enlivened by shards of mean humor, MacDonald captures how hard it is to love and/or trust abroad or at home."—KIRKUS REVIEWS "Author Marylee MacDonald has done an absolutely masterful job of presenting her readers with short stories so beautifully written that the characters will stay in your mind long after the story, and indeed the book, is done."—READERS’ FAVORITE "In her collection of twelve brilliantly-written short stories, MacDonald explores the pain and beauty of human relationships. MacDonald’s writing is raw and visceral, creating a strong emotional connection between her characters and the reader."—US REVIEW OF BOOKS "Bonds of Love and Blood is brilliantly written and nothing less than emotive."—HOLLYWOOD BOOK REVIEWS "Poignant, honest,and compelling... Highly recommended."—PACIFIC BOOK REVIEW "MacDonald dares to question which is the greater, more unsettling risk: the alluring intimacy of foreign terrains, or the intimate dangers of domesticity?" —Tara Ison, author of Reeling Through Life and Child out of Alcatraz "Her characters remind us of our universal and contradictory longing for solitude and for connection. Savor this book. Enjoy being in the hands of a generous and visionary writer." —Eileen Favorite, author of The Heroines "These elegantly crafted stories brim with emotional wisdom and eloquence. Bearing you around the world, they will imprint themselves, deeply, indelibly, upon your heart." —Melissa Pritchard, author of Palmerino

    • Fiction
      July 2017

      The Curious Ones

      by Eliza Granville

      For more than fifteen years, Isabelle has been tormented by guilt over the disappearance of her youngest daughter. If only she’d been at the school gate to meet her. If only she hadn’t been so engrossed in her painting. If only … But now there’s a granddaughter. In the hope that this new baby may heal what time, drugs and doctors never could, Isabelle drives the length of France to meet her. On the way she stops in a quiet patch of woodland and comes across a small child who looks like, but surely can’t be, her lost daughter. The girl vanishes. Perhaps. And Isabelle gradually becomes convinced that unknown forces are at work, in which case her granddaughter may also be in danger.

    • Fiction
      July 2018

      Gorgeous May

      by C T Karlsson

      Maj Carrén finds herself sitting at her kitchen table one bleak October morning. She has taken a few knock-backs recently. Self-pity, lethargy and the end of the world as we know it is occupying most of her mind. Her body has swelled over the last few years, her knees suffer when they have to climb the stairs up and down to her flat every day and her desire to do things is simply not there anymore. Not even a spot of gardening can tempt her out of her hole. Iréne is Maj's neighbour and utterly determined to not let her perish with grief. Her plan is to get Maj out of the house and give the fifty-something lass a bit of a makeover. They have known each other all their lives and have always lived next door to one another, but it will soon become apparent that Maj does not know all there is to know about Iréne. The autumn proves to be intensely hectic. Maj gets to grip with the magical world of online technology and starts internet dating. Maj begins to blossom, but secrets are piling up and before she knows it, Maj is tangled up in a bunch of revelations that bring things to a head. Champagne, exclusive wines and delicious food enjoyed in the company of one's nearest and dearest, what more can a woman ask for?

    • Fiction
      June 2017

      Joyous Beauty

      by Sara H Olsson

      In the book Joyous Beauty the reader gets to meet twowomen that both face various challenges in life. Nina has everything she could ever dream of; living in the lap ofluxury in the capital with limitless funds, a husband thatworships her and a hot lover on the side too. Everythingis running along just nicely until one day a stupid slip upturns her whole life upside down. Nina seeks refuge inher home town of Hallavik, where she is forced to movein with her mum and her mum's wife. Life is pretty lousyright now. At least until she meets Johanna; a wild, liberated chef, who likes both herself and her appearance. She is down-to-earth and independent, have a lot of fun with younger guys and will do everything and more toavoid getting new neighbours. Amazing what you can achieve with some dead mice and a thong-clad, wobbly bottoms! Joyous Beauty is a light-hearted, amusing and thrillingromcom about love, emotions, lies, betrayal and sex.

    • Fiction
      November 2017

      December Heat

      by Sara H Olsson

      Christmas is approaching and the easygoing life in Hallavik isabout to enter a new phase for Nina Becker and Johanna Seger. One of them is now voluntarily divorced and happy to put herlife as a married lady of leisure behind her. The other findsherself involuntarily co-habiting and is also told there herworkplace will undergo a reorganisation process. Roles arereversed and the two women try to adapt to their new situation. To celebrate her return to the little town on the west coast ofSweden, Nina decides to throw a glühwein party and a familiar face pops up when she least expects it and Nina doesn't know how to react. He is both pleasant and handsome, but Nina knows all about his secret. Johanna can't seem to let go of her personal issues, which leadsto her celebrating a little bit too much and ends up in an intimate situation with the wrong man. December Heat is a charming and witty novel about life's ups and downs, and the sequel to Joyous Beauty, the first book in the Hallavikseries.

    • Fiction
      January 2016

      Three Ladies in Cairo

      by Ann Edelstam

      Three Ladies in Cairo takes the reader through an original and very personal story of three generations of Swedish women through which the evolution and the transformation of Egypt during three vital decades is apparent. The bookunfolds through three intertwined destinies of three ladies the grandmother whose husband worked asjudge at the Mixed Courts, the daughter who was married to the Swedish Ambassador to Egypt and, finally, the granddaughter who was educated in Cairo and is the author of this work.Through those three ladies, crucial stages in contemporaryEgyptian history is reflected and three contrasting snapshots of this country ‘in movement’ areshown. The grandmother Hilda reflects the colonial Egypt when people were still searching for their independence. At this time, Cairo was a refined and cosmopolitan city, where, despite its two million inhabitants, it remained a charmingplace to live in. The mother Ingrid who grew up amongst Cairo’s magnificent Europeanmansions, gives an inside view of the political revolution that transformed Egyptfrom a monarchy into an authoritarian socialist state. Finally, the author, Anne, describes thedemographic revolution that gradually turned Cairo into today’s sprawling mega-poleof 20 million inhabitants who suffer from noise and misery.The originality of this book lies not only in its fragmented vision of Egyptian history, but also in the stark contrast between the harsh reality of today that the author discovers after years of absence, and the magical memories of the past that was transmitted toher from the previous generations of her family. She gives us a documented andmoving testimony that allows us to share the passion that these three generations of Swedish women have held to Egypt.

    • Fiction

      The Jacobite's Wife

      by Morag Edwards

      Lady Winifred had a troubled childhood. Her mother, father and brother were all imprisoned for treason due to their support for the Catholic king. When she falls in love with a handsome young Scottish nobleman, the marriage brings happiness. However, she is forced to rebel when her husband takes up the Jacobite cause and vows to restore the Catholic king to the throne. While Winifred wants to be loyal to her husband, she also wants to protect him from imprisonment – and worse, the scaffold! Just how far will she go to save him?

    • Fiction

      The Water and the Wine

      by Tamar Hodes

      Leonard Cohen is at the start of his career and in love with Marianne Jensen, who is also a muse to her ex-husband, Axel. Australian authors George Johnston and Charmian Clift write, drink and fight. It is a hedonistic time of love, sex and new ideas on the Greek island of Hydra. As the island hums with creativity, Jack and Frieda join the artistic community, hoping to mend their broken marriage. However, Greece is overtaken by a military junta and the artists’ idyll is over. In this fictional account of real events, Tamar Hodes explores the destructive side of creativity and the price that we pay for our dreams.

    • Fiction
      October 2018

      All Good and All Evil

      by Care Santos

      True love hides the biggest secret. Care Santos is back with a story that goes straight to the heart. Reina is a strong, independent woman, a respected professional whose career is based on her uncanny ability to sniff out who is who and to know when people are lying to her. During a business trip, she receives the news that her one son, a teenager she had always thought was happy, has attempted suicide. Overwhelmed by panic and the need to be by his side, she tries to make it back home, but a terrible winter storm leaves her stranded in Bucharest overnight. She is forced to wait it out, with nothing but her cellphone and her memories to help her try and understand what might have pushed her son to take such a choice. Her thoughts put her on the road to the truth, recollecting the people her son knew and the places he frequented, only to discover how little she really knows about him. In this journey inside herself, she will reconstruct not only Alberto’s life, but also her own, interwoven with recollections of her ex-partner and her current husband, and in this way, we will come to know the fragile web of relationships that underpins her life.

    • Fiction
      November 2018

      30 Ways to Doff your Hat

      by Elvira Lindo

      30 Ways to Doff Your Hat is a selection of thirty literary pieces in which Elvira Lindo portrays female artists, painters, writers, actresses, and photographers who pursue their work at the margins of the conventional male canon that looms over society, and who have managed to make their mark doing so. Elvira Lindo, one of the most distinguished figures on the contemporary Spanish scene, retraces her path in life and in art, incorporating her own self-portrait into this pantheon of female artists. The author’s voice is the guiding thread that runs through each of these essays: through her experience, through her gaze, Elvira Lindo invites the reader to analyze the era and the accomplishments of these pioneering women whose brilliance, tenacity, and free spirit led them to blaze new trails for future generations. Throughout history, many women have felt obliged to doff their hat before rules imposed by a society that has isolated them from the male-dominated intellectual community. In this narrative mosaic, Elvira Lindo’s astonishing prose reveals her boundless empathy, erudition, and eclectic and inquisitive spirit. Portrayed artists: Astrid Lindgren, Anna Frank, Concepción Josefa Pantaleona, María Guerrero, Elena Fortún, Gloria Fuertes, Adelaida García Morales, Tristana, Louisa May Alcott, Carson McMullers, Patricia Highsmith, Victoria Kent, Alice Munro, Mary Beard, Monica Zgustova, Chimamanda Adichie Ngozie, Margaret Atwood, Edna O’Brien, Joan Didion, Lucia Berlin, Dorothy Parker, Angelika Schrobsdorff, Sally Mann, Joyce Maynard, Marjorie Eliot, Vivian Gornick, Olivia Laing, Nelle Harper Lee, Grace Paley, Elvira Lindo.

    • Literary Fiction
      December 2018

      Once Upon a Time in Paris

      by Eliza Granville

      Like her last novel, Gretel and the Dark, Once Upon a Time in Paris cleverly combines a fairy-tale element with magic realism: in this case, an account of events in the life of Charles Perrault. Set in Paris in 1695, intertwining historical fact with multiple layers of fiction, Once Upon a Time in Paris invites readers to consider the possibility that the Tales of Mother Goose were not written by Charles Perrault (nor by his son, Pierre Darmancourt, as originally claimed), but by a reclusive figure almost entirely overlooked by history. The novel is set at that point where the tradition of oral story-telling is fast being absorbed by the written tale, and our mysterious recluse is caught between the two practices. Once Upon a Time in Paris offers a dazzling new insight into the connection between the ogre of folklore and fairy-tale and the post-Enlightenment feminist struggle.

    • Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
      March 2012

      Therese and Isabelle

      by Violette Leduc

      Censored in France in 1954, Therese and Isabelle was published for the first time in its full original version in 2000. Leduc's novella follows the story of a passionate love affair between two schoolgirls, aiming to describe 'as exactly, as minutely as possible the sensations of physical love'.

    • Fiction
      August 2018

      Control

      by L. S. Henry

      All Aimee ever wanted was to be loved and part of a loving family. When she found true love it was everything she hoped it would be and more. Her love was unconditional and she was prepared to do whatever was necessary to keep it that way. But unfortunately she discovered that love came with conditions which she had to abide without question. As her relationship developed, so too did the influences which determined the smooth running of her lifestyle. She soon discovered that love meandered through a rocky route which eventually led to the ultimate destination. But was it the route she wanted to take?

    • Fiction

      Pieces of a Puzzle

      by Jenny Gill

      Baby Boomer fiction - No 1 in the Southhill Sagas, set in leafy Surrey, to the south of London, though each book stands alone. Happily married Alison and Mark are chatting about their coming holiday. She goes to the kitchen to finish supper preparations. When she comes out he has disappeared without a trace, taking nothing with him. She never sees him again. Then 17 years later a solicitor's letter starts her on a search for answers. She needs to piece together the whole puzzle in order to put it behind her and get on with her life. The story is told in two main interleaving threads, one from when Mark vanishes, the other from when Alison receives the letter from the solicitor, interspersed with flashbacks to her life with Mark and earlier happier times. A family saga of love, loss, despair, betrayal, and above all hope.

    • Fiction

      Tightrope

      by Jenny Gill

      Baby Boomer Fiction - No 2 in the Southhill Sagas, set in leafy Surrey to the south of London, although each book stands alone. Lizzie is not what one might think of as a typical vicar’s wife. She doesn’t sing in the choir, help with cake sales or the Sunday School. She doesn’t get involved in the parish life at all, but holds down a senior position at a major bank. Jacob and Lizzie have a good marriage, not exciting, but then few marriages are after twenty seven years. When Lizzie is selected to represent her branch at a banking conference up north she expects it to be interesting at best. What she doesn’t expect is to fall in love. She describes her life as having been lived in black and white thus far, and now she can see colour. But how can she grab her own happiness at the expense of others? How can she destroy her family for her own pleasure? But, if she throws away this opportunity, it will almost certainly never come again. A story of love, but above all the story of one woman’s moral dilemma

    • Fiction

      But A Dream

      by Jenny Gill

      A tale of intrigue and mystery – No 3 in the South Hill Sagas, set in leafy Surrey to the south of London, though each books stands alone. Mags has struggled nearly all her life with heart disease. After she gives birth her health deteriorates, necessitating a transplant. She is given a vast array of medication to take daily. When her doctor changes some of her medication she starts having a frightening recurring dream. In addition she finds she has developed an interest in the game of rugby, and that her tastes in food have changed. Then the dream moves along and she finds herself not only an eye-witness to a murder but also the victim.

    • Fiction

      A Season, and A Time

      by Jenny Gill

      The 6th book in the Southhill Sagas, set in Surrey, to the South of London – each book stands alone When Rhona’s family throws a surprise party for her sixtieth birthday, you might think she is the woman who has it all – she has her health, a lovely home, a good marriage, and a loving daughter, even a part time job which she enjoys. But ever present is the tragedy from seventeen years before – the tragedy that has driven a wedge between Rhona and her husband John. Now John seems to be playing a lot more bridge, more evenings and even playing at the weekends, ever since he has found a new partner, a woman called Grace, who even joins him on a bridge club holiday. Then suddenly her world falls apart Not only is Rhona is ousted from her part time job, but only one day later her husband leaves her. He doesn’t spell it out but it is obvious to Rhona that he is leaving her for Grace, that Grace has become more than just his bridge partner. Rhona has to take stock of her life and decide what it is she wants to do, and how she is going to move forward. Meanwhile her daughter Jo has a different agenda – she wants to get her parents back together. A family story of heartache, love, despair but above all hope

    Subscribe to our newsletter