From the sad girl illuminated with razor-sharp observations of love and loss to the sensational wonder fiction story from the queen of serotonin, Beth O’Leary (she basically invented book fun) and a dark art and thought from a powerful new voice, these are the books we’re excited to read for the Zoella book club in April, May and June.
April – What A Shame by Abigail Bergstrom
Perfect for Dolly Alderton and Fleabag fans, What a shame is the perfect debut from an exciting new voice in contemporary women’s fiction. In this dark, poignant but ultimately hopeful novel, we follow 20-year-old protagonist Mathilda Mannings as she navigates sudden grief, parental loss, trauma and above all is self-acceptance. Said to be the book of the year 2022, What a shame marks Abigail’s transformation from dealer to author and a certified powerhouse that we are delighted to see on our bookshelves.
She didn’t want to admit it, but something was wrong with Mathilda Manning. It’s not just that she’s been wearing the same pair of black stools for three months straight, or that she just can’t seem to stop running, or that she’s once again sleeping with a deeply inappropriate Freddie.
Battered by the pain of a brutal breakup and the death of her father, she won’t move on. Her friends were adamant that she needed a helping hand, directing her to various spiritual practices to find a cure. But buried memories won’t last forever, and it’s time for Mathilda to face her past.
Through its dark glittering satire, the wasp-stirring novel about the genetic trauma and impatience of female pain in our modern world.
May – The No Show by Beth O’Leary
The genre is: pure escapism.
From the bestselling author of Switch and The Flatshare appears a new uplifting page turner, perfect for those pleasant spring summer days. Fresh, brilliantly hilarious, heart breaking and equally cheerful, The No Show is about dating (and waiting) and the ways love can find us…
A tear-jerker whose plot excels with the warmth of the O’Leary brand that we hear the way a major fan girl – we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again Plus, Beth O’Leary’s novels *need* to be prescribed.
Three women. Three dates. A missing man…
8.52am Siobhan is looking forward to her breakfast date with Joseph. She was surprised when he suggested it – she often found him late at night in her hotel room. Breakfast with Joseph on Valentine’s Day certainly means something… so where is he?
2.43pm Miranda hopes that Valentine’s Day lunch with Carter will be the perfect way to celebrate her new job. It’s a fresh start and a sign that her adult life is finally on the right track: she’s been dating Carter for five months and things are getting serious. But why hasn’t he appeared yet?
At 18:30 p.m., Joseph Carter agrees to be Jane’s fake boyfriend at a co-worker’s engagement party. They had not known each other for long but their friendship quickly became the brightest part of her new life in Winchester. Joseph promised to save Jane tonight. But he’s not here…
Meet Joseph Carter. That is, if you can find him.
June – Open Water by Caleb Azumah Nelson
“It’s one thing to be seen and another to be seen.”
A black expression of praise, Open water is a debut short novel of a rare artistic and emotional scope.
A modern love story set in South East London about two young black British entertainers who meet by chance in a bar and have an immediate and immediate connection. Both are trying to make their mark in a city that both honors and rejects them – a world they often fear. live let alone dare to love.
Expect elegant choruses, poetic prose interspersed with lyrics by Kendrick Lamar and a powerful meditation on art, love and bad luck. Caleb Azumah Nelson is a new vocalist but is sure to be an enduring vocalist.
Two young people met at a pub in South East London. Both are black Britons, both have won scholarships to private schools where they struggle to belong, both are artists – he’s a photographer, she’s a dancer – trying Trying to make a mark in a city that praises and rejects them. Gentle, tender, they love each other. But two people who seem destined to be together can still be torn apart by fear and violence.
At once a painfully beautiful love story and an in-depth look at race and masculinity, Open Water asks what it means to be one in a world that sees you as just a black person, vulnerable when you are respected only for strength, to find security in love, only to lose it. With beautiful, soulful intensity, Caleb Azumah Nelson has written the most essential British debut in recent years.