In real life I read at night in bed, sometimes 15 pages, sometimes one, before sleep takes me away. It annoys me when one book takes two weeks to read: I feel frustrated by my reading pile, looming in the periphery, taunting me. I miss the feeling of being lost in the book, swept away. Books, in my opinion, should be read fast and furious, greedily in huge slices; and the only way I can read a book the way I really like to read a book is on a sun lounger, on holiday, with nothing else to do. So at least a month before I go away I start to lovingly plan my reading. I take six books for a two-week vacation, plus one for luck. This is what I gulped down like a greedy book-guzzling piggy this summer.
This is a dazzling, erotic story about Jenn, a middle-aged woman on vacation with her husband in a boho cottage by the sea in idyllic Deià, Majorca. The cracks in her marriage are revealed when her stepdaughter and her 19-year-old boyfriend join them and an irresistible attraction flares between Jenn and the boy.
Failed middle-aged novelist Paul finds himself on holiday with a group of strangers in a sprawling villa in Greece. He thinks he’s doing a favor to the mousy recent divorcée who invited him, but little does he know that there’s a much bigger price to pay for his free holiday than pretending he’s attracted to her.
Fiona comes home one day to find another family moving into her house. Then she discovers that her children have been taken out of school early by her estranged husband. Thus ensues a nail-biting story of betrayal, blackmail, and top-grade gaslighting.
Part courtroom drama, part family drama, this is the gripping and heartbreaking story of sisters Martha and Becky, so different yet so close. Until Martha’s baby daughter dies while in the care of Becky, and she is charged with the murder.
This Booker long-listed thriller begins with 11-year-old Jack’s mother leaving her children in their broken-down car on the highway to find an emergency phone and never coming back. Three years later troubled Jack breaks into a stranger’s house and finds something that proves what he’s always known about his mother’s disappearance.
Tom Ripley is a loser, coasting through 50s New York on a diet of petty theft and fraudulence. One day the father of a vague acquaintance accosts him in a bar and asks him to rescue his son from a prolonged European sojourn. Tom gladly accepts the offer and tracks the man down to a sleepy Italian seaside village. At first Tom is dazzled by the other man’s life, but things soon unravel into a nightmare of jealousy, lies, and then murder.
Slightly awkward thirtysomething Frances Jellico takes up residence in a magnificent crumbling pile in the English countryside one hot summer to study the building for its owner. She is not alone in the house though—on the floor below is a glamorous, bohemian couple who invite Frances into their intense, slightly claustrophobic world. But they are keeping secrets. And so, too, is Frances.