The year isn’t over yet, but we had to round up our favourite books of 2017 so far. These books have made us laugh and cry, and have kept us up late many a night.
1.Bone Meal For Roses by Miranda Sherry
This Johannesburg author has recently published her second novel about a young girl who is rescued from her abusive mother. Taken to her grandmother’s farm to recover, Poppy grows up and struggles to shake off her traumatic past. Bone Meal For Roses is a captivating book that taps into themes of memory, pain and healing. We loved this emotionally-charged book, it’s a perfect choice to add to your reading list. (Jonathan Ball Publishers).
2.Delilah Now Trending by Pamela Power
Local Author Pamela Power’s latest comedic novel follows a mother and daughter caught up in a calamity. Star pupil Daisy’s life is altered when her arch nemesis, Rosie Roberts, makes Head Girl over her. When Rosie is pushed off the second storey balcony at school, accusing glances are cast at Daisy, and her single mom Delilah. Did Daisy push Rosie? And to what lengths must Delilah go to clear her daughter’s name? This book is perfect for a sunny weekend! (Penguin Random House)
3.Lyrebird by Cecelia Ahern
Irish writer Cecelia Ahern’s 13th novel uncovers the life of a mysterious woman living alone in the mountains of south-west Ireland gifted with mimcry (she can perfectly copy the sound of he lyrebird). She is discovered by a documentary crew, who take her back with them to the city. This is a beautiful story about love and the unknown. (Jonathan Ball Publishers)
4.Difficult Women by Roxane Gay
There are few writers out there like Roxane Gay. She challenges her readers with thought-provoking themes and narratives. This scintillating collection of short stories chronicles the lives of women from different walks of life. From inseparable sister to a stripper and a girls’ fight club, it tells the story of love, passion and human connections. (Grove Atlantic/Jonathan Ball Publishers)
5.Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
Behold the Dreamers is the critically acclaimed debut novel by Imbolo Mbue. It follows Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, who lands a job as a chaffer for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Soon, the world of great power and privilege conceals troubling secrets, and as the financial crisis worsens, the characters’ lives are turned upside down. (Random House)
6.The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
A brave first novel by Ruth Hogan, The Keeper of Lost Things tells the story of Anthony Peardew, a famous author in the twilight of his life. After spending years collecting lost objects, Anthony entrusts his assistant Laura to restore the treasures to their owners. Ruth describes her book as both a love and a ghost story, so if you feel like an escape, this book is for you. (Jonathan Ball Publishers)
7.The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy
From the author of the much-loved The God of Small Things, comes the much anticipated second novel by acclaimed writer Arundhati Roy. The book explores themes of gender, identity, family and love in India. Since her first novel, it’s been an unbelievable 20-year wait, and we’re sure this will become a classic. (And hopefully we won’t have to wait another 20 years for more!) (Penguin Books)
8.How To Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell
Former magazine girl Cat’s memoir recounts her privileged and dysfunctional upbringing, and her later attempts at holding on to her life and high-profile job while dealing with drug addiction. It’s raw, funny and honest – just like Cat! (Penguin Random House)
9.The Woman in the Wood by Lesley Pearse
After their mother is taken into an asylum, Maisy, and her twin brother Duncan are sent to live with their grandmother in the countryside. Cold and hard, she leaves them to grow up alone. When Duncan goes missing, neither his grandmother nor the police seem to care. It’s up to Maisy to solve the mystery of her brother’s disappearance. Expect to be intrigued up until the last page of this brilliant novel (Penguin Random House)
10.The Children of Jocasta by Natalie Haynes
Jocasta is just 15 when she is told that she must marry the King of Thebes, an old man that she’s never met. Her life has never been her own, and nor will it be, unless she outlives her husband. Ismene is the same age when she is attacked in the palace she calls home. Since the day of her parents’ tragic deaths a decade earlier, she has always longed to feel safe with the family she still has. But with a single act of vioence, all of that is set to change. This is a stunning reimagining of the Oedipus and Antigone stories, told from the perspectives of the women the myths overlooked. (Mantle)
Enjoy these gems and remember to look out for more exciting books in Marie Claire magazine every month in our Agenda section!
Compiled by Stefanie Jason and Edwain Steenkamp