Coming soon to a bookshelf near you…
Ask the book buyer about...
novels to watch out for in 2020
Happy new year! When it comes to books, a new year really does mean a chance to turn over a new leaf, or page, and to start a new chapter, because with a new year comes a fresh publishing calendar. In 2020 we can expect a heady mix of eagerly anticipated new work from established authors and a range of brilliant debuts, plus there are always those surprise hits that come out of nowhere.
As booksellers, we’re lucky enough to receive advance copies and tasters of lots of these new titles so to help you prepare, we’ve picked a selection of the fiction we’re most excited about and think you’ll enjoy in 2020. Even better, they’re all available to pre-order already on our website.
The Lantern Men
PUBLISHED 6 FEBRUARY
Many of you will have been counting the days since the last instalment of the Norfolk-set Dr Ruth Galloway, eager to get your hands on The Lantern Men, which is less than a month away now. It’s a job not to reveal what happens (yes, we’ve read it!) but it’s safe to say that although Ruth’s life has changed significantly in some ways and she has tried to move forward in both her work and romantic life, our favourite characters are all back in The Lantern Men, including of course, DCI Harry Nelson. When convicted murderer Ivor March offers to show Nelson where more bodies are hidden in North Norfolk, he makes one stipulation – that Ruth must do the digging. Though our launch event with Elly Griffiths has sold out, you can pre-order a signed copy now.
PUBLISHED 25 FEBRUARY
If you happen to be in the book department in late February, be prepared to meet me enthusing about this new book from one of my favourite writers. Best known for his stunning 2009 novel, Let the Great World Spin, McCann’s latest is markedly different in style to his previous works but no less powerful or emotive. Apeirogon means a shape with a countably infinite number of sides and the story is fittingly kaleidoscopic in its perspective: it is the story of two men who should be enemies – one Israeli and one Palestinian – but who become close friends, bonding over the shared loss of their daughters and proving that culture, family, love and loss are shared experiences that can’t be isolated.
The Mirror and the Light
PLUS RECEIVE A FREE TOTE BAG EXCLUSIVE TO INDEPENDENT BOOKSHOPS
Perhaps the most eagerly anticipated book of 2020 so far will be the thrilling final instalment to Hilary Mantel’s legendary Thomas Cromwell trilogy. Having won the Booker Prize for both Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies (parts one and two, respectively), Mantel says of the new book: ‘This has been the greatest challenge of my writing life, and the most rewarding; I hope and trust my readers will find it has been worth the wait.’ The Mirror and the Light will trace the final years of Cromwell’s life, after his dramatic rise from nowhere to the height of power in Henry VIII’s court.
Islands of Mercy
PUBLISHED 28 MAY
This sumptuous-sounding new novel from Norfolk-based Rose Tremain feels all the more special now that she has been made a Dame for her services to writing in the 2020 New Year Honours. The award-winning author and former Chancellor of the UEA brings us two unique characters whose stories become intertwined as they journey across the globe. Jane is a renowned nurse in Bath in 1865 who finds herself torn between a dangerous affair and a conventional marriage. Meanwhile in Borneo, an eccentric British ‘rajah’ sees his philanthropic schemes constantly undermined and failing. We can expect to enjoy Tremain’s trademark intimate and sensitive writing as the lives of this pair collide.
The Illustrated Child
In publishing terms, this debut is what you’d call a ‘hot book’: the manuscript was sold to a publisher within 48 hours of being shared and it will be published in both the UK and US this summer. The anticipation is surely both a blessing and a curse for its Norfolk-based author, who is currently studying Creative Writing at the UEA. Billed as ‘beguiling and unforgettable’ it is the story of young Romilly, living in a ramshackle house with her artist father who casts her in his successful children’s book series. But as her father becomes ill, Romilly learns that within the books are also great secrets, leading her on a powerful treasure hunt. We look forward to sharing more with you this year.
AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER SOON
The Evening and the Morning
PUBLISHED 15 SEPTEMBER
Looking ahead to September and we can expect a new work from literary giant Ken Follett. 30 years after the publication of his epic Pillars of the Earth, he brings us its prequel, The Evening and the Morning, set in 997 CE, the end of the Dark Ages, about one Englishman’s ambition to make his abbey a centre of learning. No material is available yet but it promises to be ‘an epic journey into a historical past rich with ambition and rivalry, death and birth, love and hate.’ You heard it here first.
Prices and availability checked Wednesday 8 January 2020