The Muse Jessie Burton Pages: 445 Published: 2016
The book: Odelle Bastien emigrates from Trinidad to London in 1967 and is employed by the mysterious and glamorous Marjorie Quick at the Skelton gallery. A painting whose provenance is initially unknown arrives at the gallery for valuation.
In 1936, in rural Spain, Olive Schloss and her parents are living in a rented farmhouse. Her father, an art dealer, is always on the lookout for new artists he can promote and sell. He thinks he has found new talent in a local art teacher, Isaac Robles.
Is there a connection between the artist Isaac Robles and the painting at the Skelton gallery? Why did Marjorie Quick react so strangely to the painting? Read on to find out. Read more
The Essex Serpent Sarah Perry Pages: 418 Published: 2016
The book: London, 1893. Newly widowed, Cora Seaborne, decides that she and her son Francis might be better suited to life in the country than in London. So, they travel to the county of Essex.
There, she hears tales of a mythical serpent from the past that locals believe has returned to the coastal village of Aldwinter.
Cora, neither religious nor superstitious, is convinced that there is a logical explanation for the serpent; perhaps it is an undiscovered species? Intrigued, she sets out to Aldwinter to find the serpent. Read more
The Whale Rider Witi Ihimaera Pages: 150 First published: 1978
The book: Kahu, an eight-year-old Maori girl, adores her great-grandfather, Koro Apirana, but he pays her little attention. Her great-grandfather is chief of the Whangara, who are descendants of a legendary whale rider. The role of chief is always passed onto a male, but there is no male heir, only Kahu. Koro Apirana has no use for Kahu, and is searching outside the family for a male who can become chief.
Kahu battles with her grandfather for love and fights for her own identity. Read more