Beach reads: 7 books you need to pack for summer reading

05 July 2017

By The Window Seat

It's finally summer! Alongside your passport, the sun cream and the swimwear, these are the books you need to make sure you take with you on your holidays.

The books listed below are perfect for whiling away the hours by the pool (or beach) and the perfect summer reads.
 

The Girlfriend by Michelle Frances



Perfect for those that want a quick read that is guaranteed to pass the time in a flash: The Girlfriend is the story of the potentially fraught and competitive relationship between a mother and daughter-in-law. 
 

Laura has it all. A successful career, a long marriage to a rich husband, and a twenty-three year-old son, Daniel, who is kind, handsome, and talented. Then Daniel meets Cherry. Cherry is young, beautiful and smart but she hasn't had the same opportunities as Daniel. And she wants Laura's life.

Cherry comes to the family wide-eyed and wants to be welcomed with open arms, but Laura suspects she's not all that she seems.

When tragedy strikes, an unforgiveable lie is told. It is an act of desperation, but the fall-out will change their lives forever.

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Miss You by Kate Eberlen



A Richard and Judy Book Club pick, a Radio 2 Book Club Choice – and the novel of the summer.

Tess and Gus are meant to be. They just haven't met properly yet. And perhaps they never will...
 

Today is the first day of the rest of your life is the motto on a plate in the kitchen at home, and Tess can’t get it out of her head, even though she’s in Florence for a final, idyllic holiday before university.

Gus and his parents are also on holiday in Florence – and, for one day, the paths of these two eighteen-year-olds will criss-cross before they each return to England.

Over the course of the next sixteen years, life and love will offer them very different challenges. Separated by distance and chance, there’s no way the two of them are ever going to meet each other properly... or is there?


The House of New Beginnings by Lucy Diamond



The House of New Beginnings is a moving and uplifting novel from bestselling author Lucy Diamond.

One life-changing summer...

In an elegant Regency house near the Brighton seafront, three tenants have more in common than they know...

A shocking revelation has led Rosa to start over as a sous chef. The work is gruelling but it’s a distraction...until she comes up against the stroppy teenager next door who challenges her lifestyle choices. What if Rosa’s passion for food could lead her to more interesting places?

Having followed her childhood sweetheart down south, Georgie is busily carving out a new career in journalism. Throwing herself into the city’s delights is fun, but before she knows it she’s sliding headlong into all kinds of trouble...

Nursing a devastating loss, Charlotte just wants to keep her head down. But Margot, the glamorous older lady on the top floor, has other ideas. Like it or not, Charlotte must confront the outside world, and the possibilities it still holds.

As the women find each other, hope surfaces, friendships blossom and a whole new chapter unfolds for them all.

The Muse by Jessie Burton



With a beautiful new summery cover, The Muse is a Sunday Times Number One Bestseller and Richard and Judy Book Club selection.

A picture hides a thousand words...
 

On a hot July day in 1967, Odelle Bastien climbs the stone steps of the Skelton gallery in London, knowing that her life is about to change forever. Having struggled to find her place in the city since she arrived from Trinidad five years ago, she has been offered a job as a typist under the tutelage of the glamorous and enigmatic Marjorie Quick. But though Quick takes Odelle into her confidence, and unlocks a potential she didn't know she had, she remains a mystery - no more so than when a lost masterpiece with a secret history is delivered to the gallery.

The truth about the painting lies in 1936 and a large house in rural Spain, where Olive Schloss, the daughter of a renowned art dealer, is harbouring ambitions of her own. Into this fragile paradise come artist and revolutionary Isaac Robles and his half-sister Teresa, who immediately insinuate themselves into the Schloss family, with explosive and devastating consequences...

The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green



A moving story of love, loss and family by the bestselling author of Falling, Jane Green.
 

It was never easy, being one of Ronni Sunshine’s daughters. Publicly, she is the glamorous, successful, dramatic Hollywood actress. Privately, she is self-absorbed, angry, and a disinterested, narcissistic mother. Now in her seventies, Ronni has had strange symptoms for a while, but has refused to believe her diagnosis: she has ALS, a degenerative motor neuron disease. There is no cure.

Ronni’s three adult daughters – Nell, Meredith, and Lizzy – are largely estranged, both from her, and from each other. All are going through crises of their own. But Ronni is adamant that they must come home, and help her take her own life. As their mother’s illness draws them together to confront old jealousies and secret fears, they discover that blood might be thicker than water after all...

Not Working by Lisa Owens



Now and again we all lie awake wondering what on earth we're doing with our lives... don't we?

Claire Flannery has had more than a few sleepless nights lately. Maybe she shouldn't have walked out of her job with no idea what to do next. Maybe she should think before she speaks -- and maybe then her mother would start returning her calls. Maybe she should be spending more time going to art galleries, or reading up on current affairs, and less time in her pyjamas, entering competitions on the internet. Then again, maybe the perfect solution to life's problems only arises when you stop looking for it...
 


The Rome Affair by Karen Swan


 

1974 and Elena Damiani lives a gilded life. Born to wealth and a noted beauty, no door is closed to her, no man can resist her. At twenty-six, she is already onto her third husband when she meets her love match. But he is the one man she can never have, and all the beauty and money in the world can't change it.

2017 and Francesca Hackett is living la dolce vita in Rome, leading tourist groups around the Eternal City and forgetting the ghosts she left behind in London. When she finds a stolen designer handbag in her dustbin and returns it, she is brought into the orbit of her grand neighbour who lives across the piazza - famed socialite Viscontessa Elena dei Damiani Pignatelli della Mirandola. Though the purse is stolen, Elena greets the return of the bag with exultation for it contains an unopened letter written by her husband on his deathbed, twelve years earlier.

Mutually intrigued by each other, the two women agree to collaborate on a project, with Cesca interviewing Elena for her memoirs. As summer unfurls, Elena tells her sensational stories, leaving Cesca in her thrall. But when a priceless diamond ring found in an ancient tunnel below the city streets is ascribed to Elena, Cesca begins to suspect a shocking secret at the heart of Elena's life.

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