01 – Standard Deviation, Katherine Heiny, $30
Katherine Heiny’s novel is one of those tales that catch you a little by surprise and when you have finished the book you wish you had met the characters in real life. Audra is Graham’s second wife, totally opposite to his first wife Elspeth, and although life is full on with Audra and their young son’s activities, Graham has that momentarily thought that is his second wife the right woman for him and how do we make such choices and how often do we get them right… and wrong?
02 – Saints for All Occasions, Courtney Sullivan, $35
Saints for all Seasons is Courtney Sullivan’s fourth novel. It is a story that has its beginnings in Ireland in the late ’50s. It tells of two sisters who move to Boston after the death of their mother, leaving behind their father and brothers in the small village. Nora, practical and down to earth, is the eldest, while Theresa is the younger, prettier and more lively of the duo. It is left to Nora to help Theresa when she gets into trouble in America and the secret they keep has huge repercussions more than 50 years later when Nora’s beloved son dies. This book is Colm Toibin and Maeve Binchy rolled into one. Sad Irish storytelling of the best sort.
03 – The Husband Hunters: Social Climbing in London and New York, Anne De Courcy, $38
Anne De Courcy has a string of well-researched, best-selling books to her name including The Fishing Fleet, The Viceroy’s Daughters, and Debs at War. Now we are invited into the world of very rich Americans who invaded the world of high society in Britain in the 1890s to the 1920s looking for suitable husbands for their monied but titleless daughters. In most cases it wasn’t purely in the daughters’ interest alone that such ‘hunting’ visits were made. Using diaries, memoirs and letters, Anne De Courcy shows us how power, aristocracy and money made such a heady mix and the effect it had on all aspects of transatlantic life for generations.
Words: Doris Mousdale
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