P.A.Davies lives in Manchester, UK and is the author of: LETTERBOX: A novel based around the IRA bombing of Manchester in 1996. GEORGE, A GENTLEMAN OF THE ROAD: The true story of a homeless man living on the streets of Manchester. THE GOOD IN MISTER PHILIPS: An erotic thriller with a twist. NOBODY HEARD ME CRY: A story based on actual events that encompasses the darker side of Manchester and focuses on two different people from two different backgrounds who come together in a world of drugs, gangs and prostitution.
As an investigative reporter, Ron McKee didn’t expect to be fired for reporting the truth, but truth is inconvenient for the corrupt, local sheriff, and so it becomes for Ron. Still, he takes it all in stride until he finds his wife has run off with their son.
After taking his frustrations out on his wife’s lover, and following up with a deadly run-in with a group of local hooligans, Ron finds himself on the run and things only get worse with every decision he makes. Ron’s attempts to stay ahead of an ensuing law enforcement dragnet take him and his prized Harley-Davidson “Betsy” on a punishing journey through the backwoods of Alabama to the Carolina mountains. Just as he feels he’s run far enough and hopes to return home he has a run-in with “Thor’s Hammer,” a motorcycle gang of combat-hardened military veterans who use skills learned from the “Global War on Terror” to run an untouchable, multi-state criminal empire.
Ron must try to steer clear of the maniac bikers long enough to rebuild the battered Betsy and himself, before he can return home to clear his name. Even if he survives the wrath of Thor’s Hammer, he still has to race home to face the murderous sheriff who now has his son and wife in “protective custody,” all while a Category-Three hurricane tears apart his hometown.
The socially turbulent summer of 1964 triggers a cyclone of upheaval. For both the nation and Davey Dodd, a sheltered 17-year-old from Kentucky. At the onset, he remains blissfully unaware of the radical changes about to come. He takes a job across the river at a large Cincinnati hotel, which at first intensifies his feelings of unworthiness and self-doubt. His rigid Catholic upbringing has fostered a sort of emotional paralysis. The coarse masculinity of most of his peers intimidates him, yet at the same time he wishes he could be more like those freewheeling guys who boast of sexual escapades and other easy sins. As the weeks unfold, however, the diverse people and situations he encounters open his eyes to a colorful new world: one that emboldens him to explore this disconcerting passion he feels for co-worker, Tony DeStefano. Set against the backdrop of the Freedom Summer’s burgeoning civil rights movement, Davey embarks on a journey toward his own acceptance and personal integrity.
A poignant, tender tale of a woman struggling with dementia. I found it really touching and – of course – a little scary: it could happen to any one of us.
Aidan and Poppa spend hours and hours playing together and going on adventures together. Then, unexpectedly, Poppa gets very poorly. Join us on Aidan’s sad and moving journey throughout this difficult time, how Aidan wades through a variety of different emotions and situations before finally realising that Poppa will always be there, just in a different way.
A Slice of Bread & Jam by Tommy Rattigan
Hulme, Manchester 1963
Hulme was probably one of the largest slum-come-demolition sites in the whole of Manchester, with its blighted wastelands, Victorian slums, dark streets and derelict houses and factories. Every day, we would find the heavy bulldozers hard at work, doing what the blitz of 1940 had done to the city of Manchester but had failed to do to Hulme and the neighbouring towns. There seemed to be a sense of urgency – a keenness – to eradicate all evidence of the Victorian era and innumerable smoking chimneys, which had blocked out the sun and poisoned the air-and our lungs. And so the mills and the factories and the slums, would constantly meet their fate, as day after day the blighted landscape around us, steadily became more blighted by the high-rise curved tower blocks and their concrete pedestrian walkways above the streets. This new regeneration plan for Hulme, had an ugliness about it, which the grownups said was all too reminiscent of a Communist country, though they’d never said, which country they’d been talking about. The neighbourliness inherited from bygone years had been slowly deteriorating for a long while, along with its sense of community, as a new concrete jungle steadily rose up, as did its new and more sinister culture, The Cresents.
I hope to take you with me on my journeys throughout this one particular year, 1963, living with my family of fourteen others in a three up two down Victorian slum in Hulme, leading up to my encounter with Myra Hindley and Ian Brady, and to share with you, my thoughts, my feelings, and the unbearable overwhelming instinct which had bore down on me, to go! Get out!
Expect to be swept along by the drama of this roller-coaster of a novel. Over five hundred pages of beauty, horror, poignancy, tragedy and charm.
Verghese takes us from India to Ethiopia and the USA, revealing intricate details of surgery, rebellion, war, passion, faith and love. It is not often that a book can lift your spirit to new heights, and this one is right up there with the likes of Shantaram and similar great novels.
An unforgettable read
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.
In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.
Small town cults linger around our communities. They’re hidden among us, picking up believers and working to grow strong, though most remain invisible to us. What would happen if a heavily religious cult took over one of our towns? How much damage would it cause us? Casper is an exile from his home, but when he finds out his brother has died, he returns to save his family from the ravenous followers who have taken over. Returning for his sister and mother, the young man must fight against the brainwashed folks he used to call neighbors. Can he save them? Or will his return cause the demise of the rest of his family? Welcome to the cold walls of Brinwood.
Captivating account of a young woman’s life in pre-war Spain and Morocco.
‘Beguiling. A richly satisfying novel’ Financial Times
‘An Engrossing Tale of love and war’ Woman and Home
‘One of those rare, richly textured novels that enthrall down to the last page. Maria Duenas reminds us how it feels to be swept away by a masterful storyteller’ Historical Novels Review
‘A wonderful novel, in the old and good tradition, with intrigue, love, mystery’ Mario Vargas Llosa, recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature