The summer holiday season is around the corner which means only one thing: poolside reading. Jennifer McShane recommends five new titles out this month that you should have in your beach bag.
Saltwater by Jessica Andrews
Lucy has high hopes for a new life in London; she grew up miles away in working-class Sunderland. This place, a city so alive, will, she expects, unlock her future. But it is more overwhelming than anticipated. She works endless hours and goes from one chaotic party to the next, always feeling the outsider, never quite fitting in. She soon takes off for Ireland finding unexpected solace in her late Grandfather’s cottage in Donegal - it’s as vibrant in its own way. Tender and beautiful.
Sceptre, approx. €13.99 out now
The Girl at the Door by Veronica Raimo
While on vacation on an idyllic island called Miden, a seemingly aimless woman meets an attractive man and leaves her country to be with him. A few months later, newly pregnant and just beginning to feel comfortable, her life is upended when a girl arrives at the door, claiming she’s been raped by the man who was her professor - father of the woman’s unborn child. In alternating perspectives, the professor and his girlfriend reflect upon their lives, each other, and the case. This is a hugely necessary, post-#MeToo depiction of power and consent.
Fourth Estate, approx. €12.99, out June 11
Shadowplay by Joseph O’Connor
In O'Connor’s late 19th-century saga centred on Henry Irving (known to be the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Gothic masterpiece Dracula), we get a refreshing take on historical fiction. Stoker is the Lyceum Theatre manager, Irving is its owner and star while Ellen Terry is its leading lady - both become infatuated while the unremarkable Stoker battles his own need for inspiration. Echoes of Stoker’s timeless story can be found on every page and it offers fascinating insight into an extraordinary classic.
The Other Mother by Matthew Green
Michael Perkins, is a 13-year-old awkward teenager, dealing with a lot. After his father's sudden death, his mother married the awful Glen. His two younger siblings drive him crazy, yet he's had to become a de facto parent as his mother works double-shifts to keep the family afloat. Then one day, Michael wakes up and his mother is gone. She's been replaced by an exact duplicate mother, the 'other mother'. No one else seems to notice the impostor but Michael knows in his bones that this mother is not his.
Corsair, approx. €12.99, out June 6
I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney
Aimee Sinclair is the rising actress everyone thinks they know but can't remember where from. When Aimee comes home and discovers her husband is missing, she doesn't know what to do or how to act. The police think she's hiding something. In fact, it’s a secret she's never shared, and yet, she suspects that someone knows. Brilliantly chilling with a you’ll-never-see-it-coming twist, this one was made for poolside reading.
HQ, approx. €9.99, out now
Main photograph: Unsplash
More like this: