Ladder of Years by Anne Tyler
The family holiday of this novel is turned on its head when Delia Grinstead – a wife, mother, sister, aunt, who is no longer sure of her place in the world – walks off the beach one day, away from the rest of the family, and keeps on walking. Hitching a ride to a strange town, she reinvents herself as a single woman and starts over. Come on, who hasn’t fantasised about doing this at least once during a big family holiday?!
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A Room With A View by E M Forster
There’s so much to love about this book, not least the wonderful scenes in and around Florence. The story follows young Lucy Honeychurch, in Italy with her brilliantly martyrish cousin Charlotte, and the consequences of them meeting the tourists and ex-pats at their pensione. Highlighting the conflict between Edwardian manners and the yearning rush of first love, it’s funny, romantic and satirical with a triumphantly hopeful ending.
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Summerwater by Sarah Moss
Due to be published this August, the events of this slim, devastating novel take place over a single day, amidst the cabins of a Scottish holiday park. As the rain pours down, stories unfold amidst the holidaymakers, building to a stunning climax. Sarah Moss weaves the narratives together so skilfully you’ll feel you are there, holding your breath as the tension rises . . .
The Vacationers by Emma Straub
Emma Straub is rapidly becoming one of my favourite authors, and this is pretty much a perfect holiday read. Manhattanites Jim and Franny have been looking forward to their villa holiday in Mallorca with friends, and nearly grown-up children, seeing the sights and soaking up the sun, culture and cuisine. But you know what they say about the best-laid plans… and soon the holiday – and relationships – are fast unravelling.
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The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
From the heat of summer to an icy chill… this brilliant thriller takes place in a remote hunting lodge in the Scottish wilderness as a group of friends take a winter holiday together to see in the New Year. But as the snow falls, alcohol is consumed and past grievances come to light, then things take a sinister turn – and a body is found… I absolutely loved this book. As the narrative switches between characters and secrets gradually emerge, you’ll be guessing right until the very end.
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