Margaret Powell's Below Stairs became a sensation among listeners reveling in the luxury and subtle class warfare of Masterpiece Theatre's hit television series Downton Abbey. Now in the sequel Servants' Hall, Powell tells the true story of Rose, the under-parlourmaid to the Wardham Family at Redlands, who took a shocking step: She eloped with the family's only son, Mr. Gerald.
"Enjoyable Downton Abbey like tale"
Amanda and her husband, David, feel fortunate to be raising their son and daughter in the close-knit community of ex-pats on Grand Cayman Island, an idyllic place for children to grow up. Their firstborn, Sally, has always listened to her heart, deciding at age four that she would rather be called Clover and then, a few years later, falling in love with her best friend, James. But the comforting embrace of island life can become claustrophobic for adults, especially when they are faced with difficult situations.
"By Love Obsessed"
Born into Edwardian England, Amory's first memory is of her father standing on his head. She has memories of him returning on leave during the First World War. But his absences, both actual and emotional, are what she chiefly remembers. It is her photographer uncle Greville who supplies the emotional bond she needs, who, when he gives her a camera and some rudimentary lessons in photography, unleashes a passion that will irrevocably shape her future.
"failed to engage my heart"
Powerful, dramatic, and full of the rich history that has made Carolly Erickson’s novels perennial bestsellers, this is the story of the only woman to ever stand up to the Virgin Queen: her own cousin, Lettie Knollys. Far more attractive than the queen, Lettie soon won the attention of the handsome and ambitious Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, a man so enamored of the queen and determined to share her throne that it was rumored he had murdered his own wife in order to become her royal consort.
"Quite a letdown"
Juana of Castile, third child of the Spanish monarchs Isabel and Fernando, grows up with no hope of inheriting her parents' crowns, but as a princess knows her duty: to further her family's ambitions through marriage. Yet stories of courtly love, and of her parents' own legendary romance, surround her. When she weds the Duke of Burgundy, a young man so beautiful that he is known as Philippe the Handsome, she dares to hope that she might have both love and crowns.
The Memory of Love is a story of courage and survival set on New Zealand's North Island where a Swedish doctor's lonely life is changed when she rescues a small boy. This beautifully written novel explores the destructive, forbidden and healing powers of love.
"Good (but not as good as her Astrid and Veronika)"
Critics have used every possible superlative to praise the works of two-time Man Booker Prize winner Peter Carey. In The Chemistry of Tears, Carey continues to astound with a story of love, death, and human invention. Museum curator Catherine’s affair comes to an abrupt end with her married lover’s untimely death. Denied outward grief by the nature of their relationship, Catherine retreats into isolation. Delving into notebooks more than a century old, she feels a growing connection to Henry Brandling, who in 1854 gave life to a mechanical creature.
"Not worth reading…"
Best-selling author Jaclyn Moriarty follows her critically acclaimed novels The Ghosts of Ashbury High and The Year of Secret Assignments with this fun tale. Told imaginatively through school assignments and diary entries, The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie is sure to appeal to young listeners who love a good mystery. Some people find Bindy Mackenzie’s perfectionist personality a bit irritating, but would anyone really want her dead?
"Very slow start but makes it to a great ending"
When Constance, a lowly clerk in a London stationery, married Joseph Barton, a biological researcher, she believed she had found her ultimate husband and protector. But after three miscarriages, and the troubled birth of their daughter, Angelica, Constance fears for her life, inside her own home.
When Catherine's secret lover dies suddenly, she has nowhere to turn to except her work. A middle-aged curator in a London museum, Catherine is given a very particular project: a box of intricate clockwork parts that appear to be the remains of a 19th century automaton - a beautifully made mechanical bird. When she discovers the diary of the man who commissioned the machine, she is partially rescued from one obsession by another: who was Henry Brandling?
In the 1950s poet Christopher Chubb composes a body of sexually charged poems. Chubb then dupes a trendy literary magazine into believing the poems were composed by the late Bob McCorkle, an undiscovered genius. But the trick backfires, and soon Chubb finds himself tormented by the very monster he creates. Decades later, a literary editor named Sarah Wode-Douglass begins peeling back the layers of the Chubb mystery in, of all places, Malaysia, where the reclusive poet remains in hiding.
At the age of four Clover chooses her own name. Aged six, she falls in love with her best friend, James. But in the adult world, things are not so simple: Clover's mother finds she's fallen out of love with her husband, and realises that James's father is interested in her. As Clover and James, and their parents, navigate their irresistible but baffling mazes of emotion, we are given a beautifully realised tale about how love can shape a life.
"A Dreadful Disappointment"
Julia’s life is comfortable, if unremarkable, until her sister’s brutal murder opens old wounds. She finds solace in her sister’s best friend, Sophie, but when Sophie reveals the extent of her sister’s online life, Julia becomes convinced that the truth about her death lies deep in the dark, sordid world of online chatrooms and Internet sex. What begins as Julia’s search for the truth about her sister quickly turns into an exploration of herself and her own desires.
Following the success of Parrot and Olivier in America comes another wonderfully rich tale with historical themes from the twice Booker-winner. Catherine Gehrig, conservator at a London museum, learns of the unexpected death of her colleague and lover of thirteen years. Only the museum's director knew of the affair, and sends Catherine to work on a special project away from prying eyes.
"Another great novel from Carey"
An affair with the unpredictable Joe led to a marriage that Virginia was determined would work. But Joe had no reason to trust or respect women. As he drew her into one humiliating situation after another, Virginia was forced to admit that her romantic dream had turned into a nightmare.
Eleanora has had a failed marriage and she lives with her mother, a religious woman. They take in a house boarder. This is all simple enough. Yet the past that slowly reveals itself is eating this family of sorts alive, and draws Eleanora to a room, and a place within herself which she may not survive....
In 1975, at the age of 20, Hannah Coady thinks she can change the world. Fiery and idealistic, she proves her mettle as a journalist in the terrible famine in Ethiopia, and is changed forever by the experience. But it's not just the starvation and the politics that change her, it's the beginning of a great love for two remarkable men: Waldo, a cynical but endearing British filmmaker, and Ezekiel, a Rwandan radical whose fervour is a match for Hannah's own.
The awakening of Beatrice... Living in a grey world of silhouette, Lord Taris Wellingham conceals his fading eyesight from Society. He has long protected himself from any intimate relationships. Plain, twenty-eight-year-old Beatrice-Maude Bassingstoke does not expect to attract any man, especially not one as good-looking as her remote travelling companion. Forced by a snowstorm to spend the night together, these two lonely people seek solace in each other's arms. How will their lives change with the coming of the new day?
How far will one billionaire go in the name of passion and revenge? Romy Picard will do anything to prevent her aged father from being imprisoned. But the only man who can help her is the rich, notorious Spaniard who stole her virginity and her heart three years ago... Xavier DeVasquez could drop all charges against Romy's father with a click of his arrogant fingers - but he sees an opportunity to have Romy in his bed one more time. This time, though, he'll make sure that she stays on his terms...