Literary Fiction

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ENGLISH MONSTERS by James Scudamore HB £16.99

‘James Scudamore is now a force in the English novel’ Hilary Mantel’

Breathtakingly good. Imagine Edward St Aubyn writing The Secret History and you’ll get an idea of how exquisite and compelling this story about male friendship and betrayal is’ Alex Preston, Observer – *Fiction to Look Out for in 2020*

When ten-year-old Max is sent to boarding school, his idyllic childhood comes to an abrupt end. Away from the magical freedom of his grandfather’s farm, a world of unfathomable rules and arbitrary punishment awaits.

But so too does the companionship of a close-knit group of classmates. Years later, as Max and his friends face down adulthood, a dark secret from their schooldays is revealed, drawing them together in unforeseen ways. Who knew what, and when? And who is now willing to see justice done, regardless of the cost to themselves? Spanning several decades, English Monsters is a story of bonds between men – some nurturing, others devastating.

It explores what happens when care is outsourced in the name of building resilience and character and presents a beautiful and moving portrait of friendship.

THE MIRROR AND THE LIGHT by HILARY MANTEL

Despite rebellion at home, traitors plotting abroad and the threat of invasion testing Henry’s regime to breaking point, Cromwell’s robust imagination sees a new country in the mirror of the future. But can a nation, or a person, shed the past like a skin? Do the dead continually unbury themselves? What will you do, the Spanish ambassador asks Cromwell, when the king turns on you, as sooner or later he turns on everyone close to him? With The Mirror and the Light, Hilary Mantel brings to a triumphant close the trilogy she began with Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies. She traces the final years of Thomas Cromwell, the boy from nowhere who climbs to the heights of power, offering a defining portrait of predator and prey, of a ferocious contest between present and past, between royal will and a common man’s vision: of a modern nation making itself through conflict, passion and courage. Harper Collins HB rrp £25. Our price £22