I’m back from a blissful 10 day break in France and due to my kids finally being old enough to play – and read – on their own I devoured FOUR books, a record since becoming a mum. And joyously, the 3 books I chose to take as part of my #fashionbeautybooks holiday edit were page-turners that I couldn’t (and didn’t have to!) put down.
3 hot holiday reads
Students Frances and Bobbi are best friends who become embroiled in a complicated menage-a-quatre with established writer Melissa and her actor husband, Nick. The married couple read like a re-worked version of Dick and Nicole Driver from Tender is the Night; glamorous, magnetic-but-messed-up puppet masters, but – F.Scott Fitzgerald shades aside – it’s Frances’ well-observed narration and the clever ripostes and emotional insights between her and Bobbi that caused me to devour this addictive debut novel in two days. 26-year-old Sally Rooney – or ‘Salinger for the Snapchat generation’ as she’s been described – sits as comfortably beside modern cultural phenomenons like Girls’ Lena Dunham and Phoebe Waller Bridge of Fleabag fame as classic literary novelists. I want to hate her, but frankly, I’m too in awe.
When Jessie and Will find themselves drawn to a new life away from London with their toddler and Will’s troubled teen daughter, Applecote Manor seems the idyllic solution. But this crumbling old manor hides a dark, unsolved secret. It’s 1959 and Margot Wilde and her three sisters have been sent by their mother to live with their Uncle and Aunt five years after the unsolved disappearance of their daughter (the girls’ cousin) Audrey. As both Jessie – and the Wilde sisters – are drawn into the mystery of Audrey’s disappearance fifty years apart so I fell down the rabbit hole that is Chase’s gloriously descriptive writing and absorbing storytelling. If you love Kate Morton and Daphne Du Maurier, this book’s for you.
At once a coming-of-age and a mid-life story of self-discovery, two friends, Ellis and Michael, examine their friendship through the lens of memory as they navigate life after they lose contact. The inextricable links that bind them forever are Ellis’s wife, Annie – loved by them both and Sunflowers, the painting by Vincent Van Gogh – an extra touching brushstroke to this short but beautifully emotive and evocative tale of loss, love, friendship.