The 8 books you need to add to your 2020 reading list

It’s set to be an exciting year for books. Here’s your heads-up on must-reads from Woman&Home’s Books Editor Zoe West.

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

Released: 21st Jan

There’s a huge buzz around this timely novel. Stephen King, among its many other fans, has declared it ‘extraordinary’, which we can confirm. This is the first novel to explore the experience of attempting to illegally cross the US-Mexico border and it is every bit as emotional and gruelling as you’d expect. Following a mother and son on this journey, expect heart-stopping moments. This is a book everyone should read.

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins, Headline, HB, £14.99

The Foundling by Stacey Halls

Released: 6th Feb

From the bestselling author of The Familiars, comes another beguiling story. Set in Georgian London, Bess Bright returns to a foundling hospital to claim the daughter she’d left there six years before. But, what she discovers will leave her bereft. Exploring families, secrets and the meaning of motherhood – it looks like another hit for one of the biggest debut authors of 2019.

The Foundling by Stacey Halls, Bonnier Zaffre, HB, £12.99

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Out: 6th Feb

Inspired by the real events of the Vardø storm in Norway and the 1620 witch trials, this immersive book continues the current trend for magical reads. When all men are wiped out on the remote island of Vardø the women must fend for themselves – and that they do. Until Absalom Cornet arrives three years later seeing only evil. A breathtaking read.

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Pan Macmillan, HB, £14.99

This Lovely City by Louise Hare

Released: 12th March

Centred around the Windrush generation in post-war London, this thought-provoking and important novel follows Laurie – musician by night and postman by day. When Laurie makes a terrible discovery on his morning round, fingers of blame are pointed. It seems not everyone is as welcome in London as it first seems. Taking in the music halls of Soho, this atmospheric novel is a triumphant debut.

This Lovely City by Louise Hare, Harper Collins, HB, £12.99

The Mirror and The Light by Hilary Mantel

Released: 5th March

Regarded by many as the queen of historical fiction, it is no wonder that Mantel’s next novel is eagerly awaited. Following her prize-winning novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, this is the third and final book in the trilogy. Eight years in the making, this completes the story of Thomas Cromwell from self-made man to an incredibly influential figure. Exquisitely written, it’s another sweeping historical extravaganza.

The Mirror and The Light by Hilary Mantel, Harper Collins, HB, £20

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

Released: 2nd April

Clare Pooley, author of the successful The Sober Diaries, has written her first novel. It centres on six strangers, none of whom are as they appear. In his bid to be authentic, eccentric artist Julian Jessop shares his truth in a green notebook and leaves it for someone to find. Those who discover it also share their truths, connecting a quirky cast of characters you can’t help but root for.

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley, Transworld, HB, £12.99

Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughn

Released: 2nd April

On the back of her runaway success, Anatomy Of A Scandal, comes Vaughan’s highly anticipated second novel following two lifelong friends. When Jess arrives at a hospital where Liz works as a doctor, her story doesn’t add up and Liz soon finds herself questioning everything she thought she knew about her friend, and herself. Believable characters make this psychological thriller utterly compelling.

Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughn, Simon&Schuster, HB, £14.99

Heatstroke by Hazel Barkworth

Released: 28th May

Heatstroke by Hazel Barkworth, Headline, HB, £16.99

One for the summer – and not just because of the title, this debut novel is bound to create a buzz. It begins with 15-year old Lucy disappearing at the beginning of a long, hot summer, but it soon becomes about three women – one of whom is Lily’s teacher. A thought-provoking novel that explores relationships, early motherhood, power and betrayal.


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