Here’s Love London Love Culture’s monthly guide to some of the best reads being released next month…
1. Past Perfect by Danielle Steel: fans of Danielle Steel don’t have much longer to wait before the release of her latest novel (14th December) in which the past and the present collide.
Sybil and Blake Gregory live a well-ordered, predictable Manhattan life ― she as a cutting-edge design authority and museum consultant, he in high-tech investments ― raising their teenagers Andrew and Caroline and six-year-old Charlie. But when Blake is offered a dream job as CEO of a start-up in San Francisco, he accepts it, without consulting his wife, and buys a magnificent, historic mansion as their new home in Pacific Heights.
Past and present collide at their elegant mansion, when they meet the large and lively family who lived there a century ago. All long dead but very much alive in spirit―visible to the Gregorys and no one else. Within these enchanted rooms, it is at once 1917 and a century later. Have the Gregorys been given a perfect gift; beloved friends, a chance to relive the past and the wisdom and grace to shape the future?
2. Enchantress of Numbers by Jennifer Chiaverini: this biographical novel explores the legacy of a woman whose quest for knowledge led the way in computing. (released 7th December)
In Enchantress of Numbers, New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini unveils the passions, dreams, and insatiable thirst for knowledge of a largely unheralded pioneer in computing – a young woman who stepped out of her father’s shadow to achieve her own laurels and champion the new technology that would shape the future.
3. Four Queens and a Countess by Jill Armitage: exploring the changing and at times difficult relationships between Mary Queen of Scots, Elizabeth I, Mary I, Lady Jane Grey and Bess of Hardwick, this book explores the political implications of these difficult relationships and how the women at the centre of it all handled it. (15th December)
When Mary Stuart was forced off the Scottish throne she fled to England, a move that made her cousin Queen Elizabeth very uneasy. Elizabeth had continued the religious changes made by her father and England was a Protestant country, yet ardent Catholics plotted to depose Elizabeth and put Mary Stuart on the English throne.
So what was Queen Elizabeth going to do with a kingdomless queen likely to take hers?
4. The Lost Prayers of Ricky Graves by James Han Mattson: using first-person narratives, interspersed with e-mails, gay chat-room exchanges, James Han Mattson explores guilt and grief from many different perspectives. (Released 1st December).
A heartbroken and humiliated Ricky Graves took the life of a classmate and himself. Five months later, the sleepy community is still in shock and mourning. Ricky’s sister, Alyssa, returns to confront her shattered, withdrawn mother and her guilt over the brother she left adrift. Mark McVitry, the lone survivor of the deadly outburst sparked by his own cruelty, is tormented by visions of Ricky’s vengeful spirit. Ricky’s surrogate older brother, Corky Meeks, grapples with doubts about the fragile boy he tried to protect but may have doomed instead. And Jeremy Little, who inadvertently became Ricky’s long-distance Internet crush despite never having met, seeks to atone for failing to hear his friend’s cries for help.
5. Barbara La Marr: The Girl Who Was Too Beautiful for Hollywood by Sherri Snyder: this is the first full length biography devoted to the infamous silent film star, whose publicist apparently said: “There was no reason to lie about Barbara La Marr. Everything she said, everything she did was colored with news-value.” Sherri Snyder tells her life story which was lively and eventful – until her untimely death at the age of twenty nine.