New books for you to borrow

Becoming Mila by Estelle Maskame


Book cover, yellow and blue illustration. person playing guitar by the side of a pool where a person is swimming.

Meet Milla. Sixteen years old, an ordinary LA girl…except for her A-list actor dad. With his next big movie premiere on the horizon, the media spotlight is intense – and when Mila’s antics make headlines, something must be done.

And so, exit Mila. Dispatched to a small-town Tennessee to cool off. It’s summer, she’s off grid in the middle of nowhere, but Mila’s no sooner arrived than she falls out –in particular style- with the local mayor’s son, Blake.

Blake knows just how to rattle Mila. He also knows just how she feels. He gets the drama, the dynamics, the tricky parents. Perhaps they have far more in common than either of them cares to admit.

Becoming Mila shimmers with friendship, family frictions and romance. Set to the beat of Nashville over a long hot summer, this is the first book in an exhilarating new trilogy from Estelle Maskame.

The Bird in the Bamboo Cage by Hazel Gaynor


blue illustration with a bird sitting on barbed wire and two children silhouetted below

Inspired by true events, an unforgettable story of friendship and courage in the midst of World War Two.

China 1941. As[V1]  Japan declares war on the Allies, and soldiers take control of Chefoo missionary school, it rests with teacher Elspeth Kent to protect her pupils amidst rationing and fear. But when they’re sent to a distant internment camp, the worst is yet to come…

So begins a story of human resilience in the face of unimaginable danger – and a tale of the life-changing bonds formed between a young girl and her teacher, in a forgotten corner of a terrible war.

The Metal Heart by Caroline Lea


Book cover blue illustration, giant thistles to each side and in the middle a man and woman silhouetted with two fighter planes above

Orkney, 1941. Five hundred Italian prisoners of war arrive to fortify these wild and desolate islands.

Orphaned sisters Dorothy and Constance volunteer to nurse the wounded. But while beautiful, damaged Constance remains wary of the men, Dot finds herself increasingly drawn to Cesare, a young man fighting on the wrong side and broken by the horrors of battle. Secretly, passionately, they fall in love.

When a tragic mistake from Con’s past returns to haunt them, Dot must make a choice: protect her sister no matter the costs, or save the man who has captured her heart.

The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn


Book cover yellow and blue illustration of lights and curtains in a theatre, with silhouetted house and trees

Digby says, ‘I simply want to choose my own life. Don’t you?’ I have no idea what it would be,’ she replies. Not knowing is by far the better option.

Cristabel Seagrave has always wanted her life to be a story, but there are no girls in the books in her dusty family library. For an unwanted orphan who grows into an unmarriageable young woman, there seems to be no place at all for her in Chilcombe, her family’s crumbling Dorset estate.

But from the day that a whale washes up on the beach, and twelve-year-old Cristabel plants her flag, claiming it as her own, she is determined to do things differently.

With her step parents blithely distracted by their endless party guests, Cristabel, and her siblings, Flossie and Digby, scratch together an education from the plays they read in their freezing attic bedroom, drunken conversations eavesdropped through oak-panelled doors, and the esoteric lessons of Maudie, their maid.

But as the children grow to adulthood and war approaches, it becomes clear that the roles they are expected to play are no longer those they would choose for themselves. And as they are drawn into the conflict, they must each find a way to write their own story…

Garden in a Seed by Nazanin Mirsadeghi


Book cover peach colour with illustration of a woman ballet dancer in a dress with black hair with white flowers in it

Nazanin Mirsadeghi is a Persian-American writer and translator. She has authored more than 20 books, most of them being Persian language workbooks and children’s stories. Garden in a Seed is her second poetry collection; her debut A Jarful of Moonlight was published in 2017. She lives with her family in New York.

Here is her the last poem in this collection…


like a pebble that unsettles

 the stillness of a swamp,

        make a splash

      anywhere you go

Tochter (Daughters) by Lucy Fricke

Fiction (in German)

green book cover with beige illustration  of a road going into the distance, with a large red sun

Two women embark on a journey to Switzerland with a terminally ill father in the back seat. It’s supposed to be one last, final journey, but nothing ends the way you imagined, certainly not life. Martha and Betty have known each other twenty years, and they decide to race through. They have their goal in front of them, and the approaching misfortune is pressing from behind. “There was nobody with whom I could laugh so loudly about the misfortune as with Martha. Very few women laughed at the misfortune, especially not at their own. When it came to suffering, women didn’t take a joke.”

With humour in self-defence and a truthfulness that hurts, Lucy Fricke tells of women in the middle of their lives, of farewells that nobody is spared, and of fathers who disappear too soon. A grotesque journey south, through Switzerland, Italy, to Greece, deeper and deeper into the abyss of our own Greek history. And the question is not where we come from, but: How do we find our way out?


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