Esi Edugyan’s Man Booker Prize shortlisted Washington Black, is a page-turning adventure story of a boy’s journey from the brutal sugarcane plantations of Barbados to the icy wastes of the Arctic to London’s first aquarium and the Moroccan desert, embracing science and innovation as well as the horrors of slavery.
Tracey Emerson’s She Chose Me pits a disturbed and disturbing, yet nevertheless sympathetic, young woman with an impressive capacity to bend reality in her determination to fill the mother-shaped hole inside herself, alongside a middle-aged woman summoned back from her globetrotting life by her mother’s failing health.
Outrageous, engrossing, and highly entertaining, A Ladder to the Sky by John Boyne is a study of envy, narcissism and naked ambition in and outside the literary world.
While the tone might be as light as a soufflé, Lissa Evans’ Old Baggage has complex and serious flavours underneath. It’s a moving tribute to the campaign for women’s suffrage and a credible portrait of a heroic woman whose loyalty to the wrong person ends up hurting herself and those who love her best.
You can read about my previous ten favourites by clicking on the images. I’ll bring you my final selection and overall summary around the turn of the year.