10 Intriguing New Books To Read This Month - The Gloss Magazine

10 Intriguing New Books To Read This Month

Edel Coffey selects ten intriguing new books…

After her glorious turn in 2022 with Again, Rachel, the sequel to one of her most popular novels, Rachel’s Holiday, Marian Keyes is back with a new novel, MY FAVOURITE MISTAKE (Penguin, €15.99). Readers will be pleased to hear this story sees a return to the Walsh family, in particular Anna. Anna has left her beautiful apartment, partner and high-flying beauty PR job in New York and moved to the tiny Irish town of Maumtully (population 1,217) to help her friends open a luxury retreat. The locals are up in arms about it and one of Anna’s exes, Joey Armstrong, is also on the scene, reminding Anna that you can’t easily outrun your mistakes.

Meanwhile, David Nicholls is officially having a moment. His smash hit novel One Day has been adapted, again, this time for Netflix and a whole new generation, just in time for the publication of his new novel, YOU ARE HERE (Sceptre, €15.99). This is a heart-warming and mature romance about Marnie, a copy editor, and Michael, a geography teacher. Both are desperately lonely and alone when they meet on a hiking trip (we are talking about a middle-aged love story here). Nicholls brilliantly evokes that delicate sense of isolation and separation that many of us got to know so intimately during the pandemic. Both characters have their own issues to deal with, and their own baggage to come to terms with and to reveal to each other, but this still manages to be hopeful and uplifting in that way Nicholls does so well.

More than 30 years ago, the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa on Booker prize-winning author Salman Rushdie in response to his “blasphemous” novel The Satanic Verses. Rushdie survived the fatwa, but in August 2022 he was attacked and stabbed while preparing to give a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York. He survived the attack and now has written his account of it in KNIFE: MEDITATIONS AFTER AN ATTEMPTED MURDER (Penguin, €23.80), an account of what happened that day but also of the importance of defending free speech and literature.

It’s an exceptional month for Irish debut novels. Sinead Gleeson, author of the bestselling essay collection Constellations, publishes her much-anticipated novel HAGSTONE (4th Estate, €15.99), which tells the story of the artist Nell. Nell lives on an island and makes landscape art that the sea washes away. When Nell is invited to create a piece of art for the disparate group of women living a cloistered life on the island – known locally as the Inions – she is brought into their world. The book is both simultaneously grounded, through Nell’s encounters with her lovers, and supernatural and haunting, through the mysterious murmurings on the island and the mysterious ways of the Inions. This is an immersive novel about what it means to be an artist and a woman.

Another Nell features in Niamh Mulvey’s debut novel THE AMENDMENTS (Picador, €15.99) following on from her 2023 debut short story collection, Hearts and Bones. In this book, Nell is about to have a baby with her partner Adrienne, but while Adrienne is excited about this new phase in their lives, Nell is triggered and brought back to the secrets of her past. Through her excavation of her own history, and her estranged mother’s past in 1980s Ireland, Mulvey deftly and cleverly engages with the murky territory of what it is to be a mother and, on a grander scale, with Ireland’s dark and shameful history around motherhood.

Irish short story fans also have a wealth to choose from this month with new collections from Maggie Armstrong and Mary Costello. Mary Costello is considered one of Ireland’s finest contemporary writers. Her debut novel Academy Street seemed to be obligatory reading on its release in 2014 and it won the Irish Novel of the Year and the overall prize of Irish Book of the Year at the Irish Book Awards. It was shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award, the Costa First Novel Prize and the EU Prize for Literature. In BARCELONA (Canongate, €14.99) Costello creates superbly controlled scenarios, dealing in the small tragedies of everyday life – relationship break-ups, regrets, disappointments – and wrings your heart out in the process. A masterclass in the short story.

Readers of the Dublin Review will already be familiar with Maggie Armstrong’s intriguing stories of modern relationships. (Armstrong has also contributed to THE GLOSS). But to describe her stories thus is to wash them into the watery glut of young Irish women writing about relationships when Armstrong’s characters’ voices are singular, and her stories compelling and skewed, like walking into a room where everything looks the same but your gut tells you everything is wrong. Of course, that means that you cannot look away from these characters, these stories, and can’t stop reading until you find out exactly what happens to them. This debut collection OLD ROMANTICS (Tramp Press, €16) includes some of those previously published stories but new ones too, taking readers through fertile female territory of early adulthood, motherhood and family life. Thoroughly original.

TM Logan, the multi-million bestselling author of the gasp-inducing thriller The Mother, is back with THE DREAM HOME (Zaffre, €13.99), an equally chilling domestic thriller. Adam and Jess have been looking for a dream home for themselves and their three small children. When they manage to buy a rambling Victorian villa at the very upper limit of what they can afford to pay, they think they have finally found their dream home. When they discover a hidden room and find some old belongings in it, Jess suggests they throw them out. But Adam is intrigued. Soon, the dream home is no longer the hoped-for place of sanctuary and security but a place where they are all in danger. A rip-roaring thriller.

Ellie Keel’s debut novel THE FOUR (HQ, €19.60) is perfect for fans of Emerald Fennel’s Saltburn or indeed the dark academia genre. It tells the story of four scholarship students in their final year at the privileged High Realms school. When a powerful and popular student is involved in an accident, one of the scholarship students is blamed and all four are caught up in the wake of the incident. If you can suspend your disbelief, this is an enjoyably melodramatic romp.

Yulin Kuang is a screenwriter and director who is currently adapting and directing Beach Read for 20th Century Studios but she has also somehow found the time to also write HOW TO END A LOVE STORY (Hodder Paperbacks, €9.99), a charming romance that will appeal to fans of Curtis Sittenfeld’s Romantic Comedy. In this story, Helen is a bestselling author of a young adult fiction series that is now being adapted for TV. Helen is still grieving a family tragedy that happened 13 years earlier and is relieved to make a new start in LA. In the writers’ room, however, she meets Grant, a screenwriter, and a face from her past, one that is forever connected to the tragedy she is trying to forget. She can’t deny the growing chemistry between them. An intelligent love story that explores trauma and how it shapes us.


FORGOTTENNESS (Bullaun Press, €16.99) by Ukrainian author Tanja Maljartshcuk, translated by Zenia Tompkins, was first published in Ukraine in 2016 and won the BBC Ukrainian Book of the Year that year. Now a new Irish imprint, Bullaun Press, dedicated solely to publishing literature in translation, has published it for the Englishspeaking world. Forgottenness is an exploration of Ukrainian identity through a double narrative set one hundred years apart. The narrator is a contemporary writer obsessed with a long-dead political activist for Ukrainian independence. Through the narrator’s obsession, we discover Ukraine’s complex history and struggle for independence but also, on a larger level, Maljartschuk writes about identity and the importance of remembering what the march of time inevitably erases.


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