Five more books for your delectation today, some famous names and others less well known, large publishers and small.
From the top then, and from Sandstone Press up in Dingwall comes The Fan Tan Players by Julian Lees. This is "an opulent family saga" spanning the 1920s, 30s and 40s and set in Macao, Russia, the Scottish Highlands and Hong Kong, "a story of love, history, adversity and adventure" - that description alone will grab many readers, myself included.
I've read a couple of Alice Hoffman's earlier books so I'm looking forward to her latest, The Story Sisters, but my goodness me, The New York Times describes it as "Little Women on mushrooms"(!), while Glamour says "This bewitching novel explores the bonds of sisterhood like a haunting modern fairy tale."
In the middle of the pile there is Too Many Magpies by Elizabeth Baines. The cover quotes point this up as both strong and intriguing, and the book poses the questions "can we believe in magic and spells?", "can we put our faith in science?". Here's the gist: "A young mother married to a scientist fears for her children's safety as the natural world around her becomes ever more uncertain. Until, that is, she meets a charismatic stranger who seems to offer a different kind of power."Next is a book in translation which comes from Holland Park Press. Frederik van Eeden's Hedwig's Journey was first published in 1902 and is a portrait of a young woman and the choices she makes. The author's background in medicine and specifically psychiatry informs this book which begins, "The history of a woman's life. How she sought the cool deeps wherein lies deliverance, and how she found it."
Last is a name which needs little introduction, though I have yet to read Barbara Trapido (Brother of the More Famous Jack, Frankie and Stankie, etc.), but here's my chance with her latest novel Sex and Stravinsky."[This] dazzling new novel throws up the complexity, cruelty and richness of the global world, its sequence of personal stories coming together like a dance; a masquerade in which things are not always what they seem."