Quick book picks for May

A new month means a whole new bunch of books coming out (probably more books than sun coming out, at least in the UK). To help you choose what to read, here are some of my favourites coming out this month, with quick summaries and links to reviews.

  • Little Gold by Allie Rogers – A moving and life-affirming tale of growing up different in Brighton in the 1980s.
  • House of Names by Colm Toíbín – A retelling of the House of Agamemnon in modern prose, with tense character relationships and intense revenge.
  • Girlhood by Cat Clarke – A fantastically tense YA novel about friendship and grief in a Scottish boarding school, with a gripping and funny narrative.
  • New Boy by Tracy Chevalier – The next in the Hogarth Shakespeare series is an unforgettable retelling of Othello in a single day in a Washington schoolyard.
  • Peculiar Ground by Lucy Hughes-Hallet – A time-spanning novel about changes and connections, set mostly in the grounds of an old house after the Restoration and during the Cold War.
  • The Nothing by Hanif Kureishi – A darkly comic and characteristic new novella from Hanif Kureishi, trapped in the head of an increasingly bed-bound aging filmmaker.
  • Man Alive by Thomas Page McBee – A powerful memoir of a trans man dealing with ideas of masculinity in the wake of violence.
  • I’ll Eat When I’m Dead by Barbara Bourland – The female-led modern version of 80s and 90s alternative American satirical fiction like American Psycho, exposing darkness in an industry full of drugs, sex, and battles for the top (review coming soon).
  • The Finding of Martha Lost by Caroline Wallace – An enchanting story about a sixteen-year-old girl who lives in Liverpool Lime Street station and has never known where she truly comes from.

The Finding of Martha Lost by Caroline Wallace

Lost and found in Liverpool Lime Street station: The Finding of Martha Lost by Caroline Wallace

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The Finding of Martha Lost is an enchanting novel about a sixteen-year-old girl who was found in Liverpool Lime Street station as a baby and has been wondering who she is ever since. Martha runs the lost property office at the station, but when a series of mysteries start popping up—is there somebody lurking in the tunnels under the station? why is there a Roman soldier in the station every day? could a suitcase hold the fortunes of an Australian man?—and her position in the station becomes under threat, it is time for her to really become found.

Wallace creates a vivid picture of the station in the 1970s which is the backdrop for a moving and charming story about a girl who is both wise and innocent and who believes she is the liver bird of Lime Street station. Neither Martha or her friends in the station have had easy lives, and their found family dynamic forms the real heart of the novel, making it clear that Martha is not lost around them. Wallace touches on a number of problems whilst keeping the narrative an uplifting and enjoyable read, one perfect for anybody who is looking for a heartwarming book set in the later half of the 20th century and infused with the music and culture of Liverpool at the time.