Under the Reader’s Radar – celebrating the quiet novel

There are thousands upon thousands of books published each year. Only a small percentage of those make it to the best-seller list. That doesn’t mean that the rest aren’t worthy of reading. It may be that they are written by self-published authors who don’t have the marketing knowledge or a small independent publisher who doesn’t have the marketing budget to spread the word. Even the larger publishing houses have a limited marketing and publicity budget so can’t promote all the novels they publish to an equal degree.

So in each post I’ll aim to highlight a couple of titles that may have been missed from your reading awareness. Hopefully you’ll discover a treat or two. And please do let me know if you have any books you’d like to suggest.

The first suggestion this time comes from Laura Pearson. Her latest novel, Nobody’s Wife was published by Agora Books on 28 March 2019.

She suggested Don’t Ask Me Why by Tania Kindersley, published by Sceptre.

When Ashley meets Virge at a ghastly teenage ball just before she goes to Oxford she knows she has found a soul mate. Virge and her brother Michael are the people everyone wants to be friends with – beautiful, funny and gay (Michael at least). But when they leave Oxford it all seems to go wrong.

Here’s what she had to say:

“I love a novel called Don’t Ask Me Why by Tania Kindersley. I read it a few times in my late teens and I don’t think I’ve ever felt so invested in a character. It’s about a young woman called Ash and is set during her time at university and in the years that follow. Every time I read it, I loved it more.”

The second suggestion today is from Pam Weaver. Her latest novel, Come Rain or Shine was published by Pan Macmillan on 13 June 2019.

She has suggested The Little House by Philippa Gregory, published by Harper Collins.

It was easy for Elizabeth. She married the man she loved, bore him two children and made a home for him which was the envy of their friends.

It was harder for Ruth. She married Elizabeth’s son and then found that, somehow, she could never quite measure up…

Isolation, deceit and betrayal fill the gaps between the two individual women and between their different worlds. In this complex thriller, Philippa Gregory deploys all her insight into what women want and what women fear, as Ruth confronts the shifting borders of her own sanity. Laying bare the comfortable conventions of rural England, this spine-tingling novel pulses with suspense until the whiplash double-twist of the denouement.

Here’s what she had to say:

“Philippa Gregory is famous for her fantastic historical novels but my all-time favourite book of hers is The Little House. It’s a contemporary novel about a ghastly mother-in-law. I think every writer should read it. The characterisation is the work of a genius.”

So there we have it, two books that have passed me by. Have you read them? Do you have a quiet novel you want to shout about? Do let me know.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Liz says:

    Great to see Tania Kindersley getting a mention. I read her wonderfully titled Goodbye Johnny Thunders about 20 years ago. I enjoyed it then, but could not get past the first few pages when I recently tried to re-read it. Funny how books have their time and place, isn’t it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. janetemson says:

      It certainly is. I’m finding more and more that a book has to fit my mood. It may be years later that I read it but it tends to find me or I find it at the right time 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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