Celebrating some of the most exciting books for 2021 with Bloomsbury Publishing
A few weeks ago I received a VIP invitation to a virtual evening with Bloomsbury Publishing, in conjunction with The Tandem Collective. Last Thursday, February 4th, at 7pm was when the madness kicked off. Hosted by the wonderful Sarah Shaffi, free-lance writer & editor, the event, #BloomsburyNightIn, was a mix of interviews, readings and challenges for all attendees.
Within seconds of the event launch the Zoom chat box was on-fire with everyone extremely excited for the evening ahead. A number of attendees received advance packages filled with a selection of fabulous proofs and some treats to accompany the evening ahead. Due to current postage issues, mine arrived a few days later but the excitement on opening that box was no less. I’ll show you the photos of that further on but first let’s take a look at what books we all can look forward to in these coming months from Bloomsbury Publishing.
A Net for Small Fishes – Lucy Jago (February 4th)
Based on the true scandal that rocked the court of James I, A Net for Small Fishes is the most gripping novel you’ll read this year: an exhilarating dive into the pitch-dark waters of the Jacobean court.
Frances Howard has beauty and a powerful family – and is the most unhappy creature in the world.
Anne Turner has wit and talent – but no stage on which to display them. Little stands between her and the abyss of destitution.
When these two very different women meet in the strangest of circumstances, a powerful friendship is sparked. Frankie sweeps Anne into a world of splendour that exceeds all she imagined: a Court whose foreign king is a stranger to his own subjects; where ancient families fight for power, and where the sovereign’s favourite may rise and rise – so long as he remains in favour.
With the marriage of their talents, Anne and Frankie enter this extravagant, savage hunting ground, seeking a little happiness for themselves. But as they gain notice, they also gain enemies; what began as a search for love and safety leads to desperate acts that could cost them everything.
Purchase Link – A Net for Small Fishes
No One Is Talking About This – Patricia Lockwood (February 16th)
Irreverent and sincere, poignant and delightfully profane, No One Is Talking About This is at once a love letter to the infinite scroll and a meditation on love, language and human connection from one of the most original voices of our time.
A woman known for her viral social media posts travels the world speaking to her adoring fans, her entire existence overwhelmed by the internet – or what she terms ‘the portal’. Are we in hell? the people of the portal ask themselves. Are we all just going to keep doing this until we die?
Suddenly, two texts from her mother pierce the fray: ‘Something has gone wrong,’ and ‘How soon can you get here?’ As real life and its stakes collide with the increasing absurdity of the portal, the woman confronts a world that seems to contain both an abundance of proof that there is goodness, empathy and justice in the universe, and a deluge of evidence to the contrary.
Purchase Link – No One Is Talking About This
Bright Burning Things – Lisa Harding (March 4th)
Being Tommy’s mother is too much for Sonya.
Too much love, too much fear, too much longing for the cool wine she gulps from the bottle each night. Because Sonya is burning the fish fingers, and driving too fast, and swimming too far from the shore, and Tommy’s life is in her hands.
Once there was the thrill of a London stage, a glowing acting career, fast cars, handsome men. But now there are blackouts and bare cupboards, and her estranged father showing up uninvited. There is Mrs O’Malley spying from across the road. There is the risk of losing Tommy – forever.
Purchase Link – Bright Burning Things
Greenwich Park – Katherine Faulkner (April 15th)
When you have it all, you have so much more to lose…
Helen has it all…
Daniel is the perfect husband.
Rory is the perfect brother.
Serena is the perfect sister-in-law.
And Rachel? Rachel is the perfect nightmare.
When Helen, finally pregnant after years of tragedy, attends her first antenatal class, she is expecting her loving architect husband to arrive soon after, along with her confident, charming brother Rory and his pregnant wife, the effortlessly beautiful Serena. What she is not expecting is Rachel.
Extroverted, brash, unsettling single mother-to-be Rachel, who just wants to be Helen’s friend. Who just wants to get know Helen and her friends and her family. Who just wants to know everything about them. Every little secret…
Purchase Link – Greenwich Park
I Couldn’t Love You More – Esther Freud (May 27th)
An unforgettable novel of mothers and daughters, wives and muses, secrets and outright lies
Rosaleen is still a teenager, in the early Sixties, when she meets the famous sculptor Felix Lichtman. Felix is dangerous, bohemian, everything she dreamed of in the cold nights at her Catholic boarding school. And at first their life together is glitteringly romantic – drinking in Soho, journeying to Marseilles. But it’s not long before Rosaleen finds herself fearfully, unexpectedly alone. Desperate, she seeks help from the only source she knows, the local priest, and is directed across the sea to Ireland on a journey that will seal her fate.
Kate lives in Nineties London, stumbling through her unhappy marriage. But something has begun to stir in her. Close to breaking point, she sets off on a journey of her own, not knowing what she hopes to find.
Aoife sits at her husband’s bedside as he lies dying, and tells him the story of their marriage. But there is a crucial part of the story missing and time is running out. Aoife needs to know: what became of Rosaleen?
Spanning three generations of women, I Couldn’t Love You More is an unforgettable novel about love, motherhood, secrets and betrayal – and how only the truth can set us free.
Purchase Link – I Couldn’t Love You More
The Kingdoms – Natasha Pulley (May 27th)
Come home, if you remember.
The postcard has been held at the sorting office for ninety-one years, waiting to be delivered to Joe Tournier. On the front is a lighthouse – Eilean Mor, in the Outer Hebrides.
Joe has never left England, never even left London. He is a British slave, one of thousands throughout the French Empire. He has a job, a wife, a baby daughter.
But he also has flashes of a life he cannot remember and of a world that never existed – a world where English is spoken in England, and not French.
And now he has a postcard of a lighthouse built just six months ago, that was first written nearly one hundred years ago, by a stranger who seems to know him very well.
Joe’s journey to unravel the truth will take him from French-occupied London to a remote Scottish island, and back through time itself as he battles for his life – and for a very different future.
Purchase Link – The Kingdoms
The Other Black Girl – Zakiya Dalila Harris (June 1st)
Get Out meets The Devil Wears Prada
Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and the micro-aggressions, she’s thrilled when Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They’ve only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events cause Nella to become Public Enemy Number One and Hazel, the Office Darling.
Then the notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk: LEAVE WAGNER. NOW.
It’s hard to believe Hazel is behind these hostile messages. But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realises that there is a lot more at stake than her career.
A whip-smart and dynamic thriller and sly social commentary, The Other Black Girl will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last twist.
Purchase Link – The Other Black Girl
Animal – Lisa Taddeo (June 24th)
I am depraved. I hope you like me
I drove myself out of New York City where a man shot himself in front of me. He was a gluttonous man and when his blood came out it looked like the blood of a pig.
That’s a cruel thing to think, I know. He did it in a restaurant where I was having dinner with another man, another married man.
Do you see how this is going? But I wasn’t always that way.
Purchase Link – Animal
How exciting do all these sound? Do you have a favourite? Is there one that stands out for you?
I was thrilled to receive five stunning proofs from Bloomsbury Publishing with a wonderful box of goodies (see photos below) so I can’t wait to dive in. First up for me will be A Net for Small Fishes by Lucy Jago. I absolutely adore historical fiction so I am really looking forward to it.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank Lex Brookman, The Tandem Collective and of course Bloomsbury Publishing for inviting me to such a wonderful evening. It was an honour and very much appreciated. Some thrilling and captivating reads await folks!
Both the titles I’ve read from this selection have been excellent in very different ways – A Net for Small Fishes and No One is Talking About This. I have my eye on I Couldn’t Love You More and The Other Black Girl, too. I hope you enjoy the Jago as much as I did!
Susan it’s ready to go. Getting fantastic reviews. It really is a selection with lots of appeal!
I love the blurb of Greenwich Park and the cover of Animal but it’s A Net for Small Fishes that speaks to me most.
I’m starting it tonight Kelly. Very much looking forward to it!
Hope you’re enjoying it, Mairéad!
I certainly am Kelly
That sounds like a fabulous evening. I’ve read a few reviews of A Net for Small Fishes and they all make it sound fascinating
It really is! I’m in the middle of it now. Enthralled
Great post Mai. I am adding a couple of these to my TBR. I read a lot of Bloomsbury children’s books, but didn’t realized they published adult novels as well.
Fantastic selection Carla. Lots to choose from. Thanks so much!