Min, Anchee Empress Orchid To rescue her family from poverty and avoid marrying her slope-shouldered cousin, seventeen-year-old Orchid competes to be one of the Emperor's wives. When she is chosen as a lower-ranking concubine she enters the erotically charged and ritualised Forbidden City. But beneath its immaculate facade lie whispers of murders and ghosts, and the thousands of concubines will stoop to any lengths to bear the Emperor's son. Morton, Kate The House at Riverton Summer 1924: On the eve of a glittering Society party, by the lake of an English country house, a young poet takes his life. The only witnesses, sisters Hannah and Emmeline Hartford, will never speak to each other again. Winter 1999: Grace Bradley, 98, one-time housemaid of Riverton Manor, is visited by a young director making a film about the poet's suicide. A shocking secret threatens to emerge; something history has forgotten but Grace never could. Mosse, Kate Labyrinth When Dr Alice Tanner discovers two skeletons during an archaeological dig in southern France, she unearths a link with a horrific and brutal past. But it's not just the sight of the shattered bones that makes her uneasy; there's an overwhelming sense of evil in the tomb that Alice finds hard to shake off, even in the bright French sunshine. Nabokov, Vladimir Lolita The story of Humbert Humbert, poet and pervert, and his obsession with 12-year-old Dolores Haze. Determined to possess his "Lolita" both carnally and artistically, Humbert embarks on a disastrous courtship that can only end in tragedy.
Nemirovsky, Irene Suite Francaise Set during a year that begins with France's fall to the Nazis in June 1940 and ends with Germany turning its attention to Russia, "Suite Francaise" falls into two parts. The first is a brilliant depiction of a group of Parisians as they flee the Nazi invasion and make their way through the chaos of France; the second follows the inhabitants of a small rural community under occupation who find themselves thrown together in ways they never expected. Niffenegger, Audrey The Time Traveler’s Wife The story of Henry and Claire, who have known each other since Claire was six and Henry was 36, and were married when Claire was 20 and Henry 28. This is possible only because Henry is one of the first people diagnosed with chronodisplacement-disorder - allowing him to travel in time. Oakes, Andy Citizen One Sun Piao is released from Ankang, the psychiatric hospital for Chinese dissidents, and demoted to working in the Vice Squad, ostensibly a non-job since the Chinese authorities claim there is no vice in the People's Republic. But, before you know it, he is trying to solve a string of murders of prostitutes, murders in which elite army officers are implicated. It is a case no one wants and no one wants solved since it spells danger to all involved. As his fellow PSB Officers are butchered, Sun Piao's investigations lead him to take on the princelings, the sons of the highest cadre in China. O’Hagan, Andrew Be Near Me When an English priest takes over a small Scottish parish, not everyone is ready to accept him. He makes friends with two local youths, Mark and Lisa, and clashes with a world he can barely understand. The town seems to grow darker each night. Fate comes calling and before the summer is out his quiet life is the focus of public hysteria. "Be Near Me" is a story of art and politics, love and change, and a book about the way we live now.