Escape into the sunshine with three super summer novels by various authors
Those Hamilton Sisters
If your sunshine disappears behind a wall of cloud, escape to the lush tropics of Australia’s Far North Queensland in a super, sweeping family saga.
An irresistible story of family, secrets and love, Aussie author Averil Kenny’s emotionally-charged and captivating novel stars three sisters whose future is threatened by their mother’s scandalous past.
The Sunday train which snaked into Noah Vale that midwinter afternoon brought with it fire, sending an inferno of small-town gossip roaring up the valley… and all because beautiful, irrepressible Esther Hamilton once had a reputation in the small Queensland town of Noah Vale.
Twenty years ago, Esther ran away under a cloud of shame but it’s now 1955 and following their mother’s death, the Hamilton sisters – Sonnet, Fable and little Plum – have returned to Noah Vale to live near their aunt and uncle.
Sonnet, twenty years old and legal guardian to her siblings, has never set foot in Noah Vale, yet has been the talk of the town for decades. Fable, at twelve-years-old, is a talented artist and lovelier than even her heartbreaking mother had been. And three-year-old Plum is just a little girl who has lost her mother and been taken away from the only home she has ever known.
As the years pass, the three sisters settle into their new life, working in the town, going to school and swimming in the perfect waterfalls nearby. But suspicion and judgment continue to follow the Hamilton sisters wherever they go.
In a small town where everyone thinks they know everything about each other, it’s hard to escape the past. And when Fable falls in love with Noah Vale’s golden boy, is history destined to repeat itself?
Set against a stunning, evocative backdrop of rainforest, golden sunshine, misty vales and soaring mountains, Those Hamilton Sisters features three charismatic and vibrant girls, each portrayed with exquisite precision as they blossom under the Queensland sunshine.
As they find their place in the world, they must use every ounce of their determination and courage, and overcome the small town prejudices where their mother’s reputation has coloured the views of the close-knit, suspicious community.
A fresh and imaginative coming-of-age story for all lovers of family sagas.
(Zaffre, paperback, £8.99)
The Beginner’s Guide to Loneliness
Warmth, wisdom and wellbeing go hand-in-in hand in this enchanting debut novel from book blogger and women’s fiction reviewer Laura Bambrey.
Using her experience and knowledge, Bambrey has written a tale of our times starring a woman struggling with being alone and desperate to return to some sort of normality after a tragedy in her life.
Full of compassion, understanding, and a cast of characters that readers cannot help but fall for, The Beginner’s Guide to Loneliness is both a moving exploration of finding love and hope in friendship, and an uplifting read for anyone in need of self-help inspiration.
Tori Williamson is alone. After a tragic event left her isolated from her loved ones, she’s been struggling to find her way back to herself. That’s why she set up her blog, The Beginner’s Guide to Loneliness, as a way of – anonymously – connecting with the outside world and reaching others who just need a little help sometimes.
When she’s offered a free spot at The Farm, a wellbeing retreat, in exchange for a review on her blog, Tori is anxious about opening herself up to new surroundings. But after her three closest friends – who she talks to online but has never actually met – convince her it will do her some good, she reluctantly agrees and heads off for three weeks in the wilds at a farm in Wales.
From the moment she arrives, Tori is sceptical and quickly finds herself attracted to fellow sceptic Than, the retreat’s dark and mysterious latecomer. But as the beauty of The Farm slowly comes to light she realises that opening herself up might not be the worst thing. And sharing a yurt with fellow retreater Bay definitely isn’t.
Will the retreat be able to fix Tori? And will she finally learn that being lonely doesn’t mean she’s broken?
Bambrey proves to be an exciting new voice in women’s fiction as readers’ hearts and minds are drawn into the lives of a group of disparate people who confront their problems and their fears, and discover that friendship is one of life’s greatest healers.
Beautifully written and threaded through with fun, emotion and romance, this is the perfect read for long summer days.
(Simon & Schuster, paperback, £7.99)
The Wishing Tree Beside the Shore
Laughter and tears are never far away when you steep yourself in this fabulous summer read from Jaimie Admans, author of a string of fabulous, feelgood romantic comedies.
And happiness is certainly written all over The Wishing Tree Beside the Shore, a sizzling, summertime confection of storytelling magic, picture perfect scenery and heart-melting romance.
Fifteen years ago, Felicity Kerr threw caution to the wind and kissed her colleague Ryan Sullivan under the ancient wishing tree along the coast. When Ryan failed to respond to her kiss, Felicity was mortified that she had read his signals horrendously wrong and she left Lemmon Cove for good.
But now Felicity’s job brings her back to her home town, and face to face with Ryan who is leading a band of octogenarians rallying to save their beloved 300-year-old sycamore from being bulldozed by property developers.
The spark with Ryan is still there, but Felicity is guarding a secret and as much as she wants to join the protest by his side, she can’t help but hold back. Will Felicity be able to mend her broken heart and find happiness with Ryan beside the sea?
If you believe in fairy tales and adore stories that feature love with a capital L then Admans’ rom-com should be on your must-read list this holiday season.
All those favourite ingredients – lost love, drama, comedy, fun and friendship – come sprinkled with the stardust of a magical tree which might just make all your wishes come true!
(HQ, paperback, £8.99)