There are only twelve books in this list which makes it my shortest one. These are books that aren’t part of a series and don’t have a designated spot in any of my other lists. They’re all books that I’ve added this year and when going through the titles, I only got rid of 3 before writing this blog post.
A heartbreaking letter. A girl locked away. A mystery to be solved.
1956. When Ivy Jenkins falls pregnant she is sent in disgrace to St Margaret’s, a dark, brooding house for unmarried mothers. Her baby is adopted against her will. Ivy will never leave.
Present day. Samantha Harper is a journalist desperate for a break. When she stumbles on a letter from the past, the contents shock and move her. The letter is from a young mother, begging to be rescued from St Margaret’s. Before it is too late.
Sam is pulled into the tragic story and discovers a spate of unexplained deaths surrounding the woman and her child. With St Margaret’s set for demolition, Sam has only hours to piece together a sixty-year-old mystery before the truth, which lies disturbingly close to home, is lost for ever…
Read her letter. Remember her story…
It is 1917, and while war wages across Europe, in the heart of London, there is a place of hope and enchantment.
The Emporium sells toys that capture the imagination of children and adults alike: patchwork dogs that seem alive, toy boxes that are bigger on the inside, soldiers that can fight battles on their own. Into this family business comes young Cathy Wray, running away from a shameful past. The Emporium takes her in, makes her one of its own.
But Cathy is about to discover that the Emporium has secrets of its own…
In Belarus, a land of endless ancient forests, an orphaned boy must scatter his mother’s ashes. His mama has exacted a solemn promise: to stay beside and protect grandfather, whatever happens.
On their journey into the woodland, hunks of mama’s delicious gingerbread sustain the young boy as grandfather’s magical tales push the harsh world away.
But the driving snow masks a frozen history of long-buried secrets. And as man and child forage further, grandfather’s tales turn to terrible truths of times past.
The history books said I died. They don’t know the half of it. Anastasia “Nastya” Romanov was given a single mission: to smuggle an ancient spell into her suitcase on her way to exile in Siberia. It might be her family’s only salvation. But the leader of the Bolshevik army is after them…and he’s hunted Romanov before. Nastya’s only chance of saving herself and her family are either to release the spell and deal with the consequences, or to enlist help from Zash, the handsome soldier who doesn’t act like the average Bolshevik. Nastya’s only dabbled in magic, but it doesn’t frighten her half as much as her growing attraction for Zash. She likes him. She thinks he might even life her…That is, until sh’es on one side of a firing squad…and he’s on the other.
Every night for three years the vengeful King Shahriyar sleeps with a different virgin, executing her next morning. To end this brutal pattern and save her own life, the vizier’s daughter, Shahrazad, begins to tell the king tales of adventure, love, riches and mower – tales of mystical lands people with princes and hunchbacks, the Angel of Death and magical spirits, tale of the voyage of Sinbad, of Ali Baba’s outwitting a band of forty thieves and of jinnis trapped in rings and lamps. The sequence of stories will last 1,001 nights…
Countless others have rendered their verdict. Now it is your turn.
Russia, July 17, 1918 Under direct orders from Vladimir Lenin, Bolshevik secret police force Anastasia Romanov, along with the entire imperial family, into a damp basement in Siberia where they face a merciless firing squad. None survive. At least that is what the executioners have always calmed.
Germany, February 17, 1920 A young woman bearing an uncanny resemblance to Anastasia Romanov is pulled shivering and senseless from a canal in Berlin. Refusing to explain her presence in the freezing water, she is take to the hospital where an examination reveals that her body is riddled with countless, horrific scars. When she finally does speak, this frightened, mysterious woman claims to be the Russian Grand Duchess Anastasia.
Her detractors, convinced that the young woman is only after the immense Romanov fortune, insist on calling her by a different name: Anna Anderson.
As rumours begin to circulate through European society that the youngest Romanov daughter has survived the massacre, old enemies and new threats are awakened. With a brilliantly crafted dual narrative structure, Lawhon wades into the most psychologically complex and emotionally compelling territory yet: the nature of identity itself.
The question of who Anna Anderson is and what actually happened to Anastasia Romanov creates a saga that spans fifty years and touches three continents. This thrilling story is every bit as moving and momentous as it is harrowing and twisted.