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Curl Up This Winter With These New Reads

Glamour, intrigue and a rollicking good time are all on offer in this year’s shortlist for the Popular Fiction Book of the Year. And with the evenings getting shorter, there’s no better time to pick up one of these great new reads.

The Glorious Guinness Girls, Emily Hourican

Set in the dual worlds of 1920s Ireland and the glamour of London’s  high society amidst the whirl of the Bright Young Things, The Glorious Guinness Girls follows the extraordinary lives of the famed Guinness sisters, Aileen, Maureen and Oonagh, through the perspective of their (fictional) childhood friend, Fliss. Spanning their teenage years and entrance into society, the book touches on key moments in Irish and European history and keeps readers gripped to the end.

Grown Ups, Marian Keyes

There is no-one more masterful at weaving together epic tales of Irish families than Marian Keyes. And in her latest addition to book-shelves, Grown Ups proves as moving, funny and heart-warming as all her previous works. Set in the midst of the cosy glamour of the Casey family, the novel follows the different generations as they fall in and out of favour with both their other halves – and each other.  

Home Stretch, Graham Norton

Graham Norton’s latest novel brings readers on a moving and probing journey as he introduces readers to a small Irish community preparing for a local wedding in 1987, before disaster hits when a car crash leaves 3 young friends dead, and another 3 survivors. Dealing with broad themes of loss, connection, and emigration, the novel follows the story of the car’s driver, Connor, as he moves abroad to find solace in the aftermath of the accident. Eventually settled in New York, Connor’s peace is threatened as he finds that sometimes, there’s no way to escape your past.

Braywatch, Paul Howard 

The perennial favourite, Ross O’Carroll Kelly, is back to bring readers on another adventure in his twentieth literary outing. As suggested in the title, this outing sees the action take place in seaside haven, Bray, as the fan favourite surprises all – and best of all, himself – by developing an affinity for the coastal town on a daytrip with daughter, Honor, who is on a mission to raise awareness around the climate crisis. One not to be missed for fans of the long-standing comedic series.  

Here is the Beehive, Sarah Crossan

An award-winning young adults author already, Sarah Crossan excels writing for an older audience as well in this highly original novel which follows the three-year affair between Ana and Conor, and its subsequent sudden end. Written in sparse, lyrical prose, the story surprises, intrigues and grips readers throughout, as Ana forges an unlikely friendship with her former rival, Rebecca, as she struggles to cope with the aftermath of the affair. 

The Bird in the Bamboo Cage, Hazel Gaynor

Set in the ominous surrounds of WWII in 1941, The Bird in the Bamboo Cage follows the story of English school-teacher, Elspeth Kent, who leaves an unhappy life behind her in favour of a new life in China as a teacher in a missionary school. But the war soon encroaches on her new home, when Japan declares war on the Allies and occupies the school. Inspired by true events, the book follows the teacher and her charges as their precarious new circumstances see them band together amidst the turmoil.

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