In Emma Donoghue's latest masterpiece, an English nurse brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle - a girl said to have survived without food for months - soon finds herself fighting to save the child's life.
"Could not get past the narration"
Anna Karenina is beautiful, married to a successful man, and has a son whom she adores. But a chance meeting at a train station in Moscow sets her passionate heart alight, and she is defenceless in the face of Count Vronsky's adoration. Having defied the rules of nineteenth-century Russian society, Anna is forced to pay a heavy price.
"Wonderful reading, but some volume issues"
Ruth lives in Vienna and is wildly in love with Heini Radik, a brilliant young pianist. When Hitler’s forces invade, Ruth’s family flees to London, but she cannot get a passport. Quin, a young professor and friend of the family, visits Ruth and offers a marriage of convenience. On their return to London, Quin begins to fall desperately in love with her. But then Heini turns up.…
"I can't hear this audio book. It is horrible"
Brought to Casey as a short-term emergency placement, 14-year-old Adrianna arrives with nothing but her gratitude. Having turned herself in to a social services office some 100 miles away, she has no possessions, no English and, apparently, no history - not that she's willing to share, anyway. She is a beautiful young Polish girl, with the bearing of a ballerina, but is terrified, malnourished and unwell.
An 11-year-old girl stops eating but remains miraculously alive and well. A nurse sent to investigate whether she is a fraud meets a journalist hungry for a story. Set in the Irish Midlands in the 1850s, Emma Donoghue's The Wonder - inspired by numerous European and North American cases of 'fasting girls' between the 16th century and the 20th - is a psychological thriller about a child's murder threatening to happen in slow motion before our eyes.
"Moving story about love and life"
Casey's Unit is, as ever, full of troubled, disaffected pupils, and new arrival Leo is something of a conundrum. Thirteen-year-old Leo isn't a bad lad - in fact he's generally polite and helpful, but he's in danger of permanent exclusion for repeatedly absconding and unauthorised absences. Despite letters being sent home regularly, his mother never turns up for any appointments, and when the school calls home she always seems to have an excuse.
"Great book but not great reader"
Deep in the Himalayas, the daughter of an English earl is kidnapped by a huge hairy monster. Agatha Farlingham is introduced to a family of motherless yetis and devotes her life to their upbringing. She teaches them to talk, tells them stories and insists on polite manners. But as time passes, tourists and yeti-hunters arrive in to the mountains. Agatha knows that there is one place where they would be protected - at her home in England. So begins a hugely entertaining road trip half way across the world...
Spring, 1922. Tessa is a beautiful, tiny, dark-eyed princess who’s given up her duties to follow her heart and work backstage at the Viennese opera. She keeps her true identity a well-guarded secret, but when a wealthy, handsome Englishman discovers this bewitching urchin backstage, Tessa’s two lives collide - and in escaping her inheritance, she finds her destiny....
Coventry Dakin's tale begins with her accidental killing of her neighbour. Forced to flee the law, she deserts her council estate, her boring husband and two demanding children for the anonymity of London's cardboard city. Originally published in 1988, Rebuilding Coventry is a brilliantly observed satire of Eighties Britain and the hypocrisy of the middle and upper classes.
Bestselling author and foster carer Casey Watson shares the shocking true story of Tyler, an abused eleven-year-old who, after stabbing his step-mother, had nowhere else to go. Knowing a little of Tyler's past - his biological mother, a heroin addict, died of an overdose when he was three - Casey feels bound to do her best for him. It isn't easy; Tyler continuously lashes out, even trying to attack Casey herself.
A woman writer goes to Athens to teach a writing course. Though her own circumstances remain indistinct, she becomes the audience to a chain of narratives, as the people she meets tell her one after another the stories of their lives. The more they talk the more certain themes begin to emerge: the experience of loss, the difficulty of intimacy, and the mystery of creativity itself.
Rejected by her mother and excluded by her school, Flip is a little girl desperate to be loved. ‘Am I ugly, Mummy?' are the first words that little Phillipa says to Mike and Casey as she stomps into their lives on a hot August afternoon. She has a Barbie doll in one hand and a pink vanity case in the other, and the bemused Watsons can only stare in amazement at this tiny eight-year-old girl who is being guided into the room by her social worker.
Best-selling author and teacher Casey Watson shares the horrifying true story of Kiera Bentley, a 12-year-old girl with a deeply shocking secret she's too young to even understand. When Casey first meets Kiera, a small, slight girl who's just lashed out at a fellow pupil in assembly, she immediately senses something's wrong. Something in Kiera's eyes alerts Casey that this is an "old head on young shoulders", and with Kiera's constant tiredness and self-soothing habit of pulling her hair out, she follows her instinct and takes Kiera under her wing.
Lorcan was seven years old when his mother first heard him say ‘I love you’. The words were not directed at her, but at Jessi-cat, the family pet. Lorcan suffers from autism and selective mutism, rendering him unable to speak in certain situations. This all began to change with the arrival of a kitten named Jessi-cat.