In the latest instalment of the Mirror Book Club’s best reads, the bombing of Dresden is brought vividly alive without skirting around the moral ambiguities.
Everything But The Girl singer and songwriter Tracey Thorn heads back to her suburban hometown and recalls her teenage years.
We look at a heartwarming, charming tale of love and Stacey Halls follows up her bestselling The Familiars with a fast-paced, elegantly written novel.
Dresden: The Fire And The Darkness, by Sinclair McKay
On February 13, 1945, just weeks before the war in Europe ended, 796 RAF bombers controversially blitzed Dresden, dropping 13,000 bombs on the city which was a transport hub and a critical site for the Nazi war industry.
But it was also a city of 650,000 civilians. Dresdeners who jumped into the reservoir to avoid the bombs drowned while those hiding in basements were poisoned by carbon monoxide or crushed. But most of the 25,000 fatalities burned in a firestorm.
McKay brings that time vividly alive but he’s also alive to the moral ambiguities.
Was the bombing of Dresden a war crime?
The cinders have never settled on the argument and they probably never will.
BY JOHN LEWIS-STEMPEL
Another Planet: A Teenager In Suburbia, by Tracey Thorn
In this tender, wise and funny memoir, Everything But The Girl singer and songwriter Tracey heads back to her suburban hometown and recalls her teenage years.
Tracey’s youthful rage and boredom are brilliantly articulated as music offers her an escape.
Here, Tracey is sympathetic to her teenage self and also to her parents who did their best with a girl from “another planet”.
BY EITHNE FARRY
The Likely Resolutions of Oliver Clock, by Jane Riley
Lake Union, £8.99
Oliver Clock likes to lead an orderly life, from running the family business, a funeral parlour, to colour coding his sock drawer.
He is secretly in love with florist Marie but a tragedy takes her out of his life and, when he learns she secretly loved him back, he decides to open himself to romance – and the mess that comes with it.
Although the book tackles death and grief, it is also a heartwarming, charming tale of love.
BY JULIE DELAHAYE
The Foundling, by Stacey Halls
Manilla Press, £12.99
Halls follows bestseller The Familiars with the tale of shrimp seller Bess. It’s 1747 and after Bess gives birth out of wedlock, she must leave her baby at the Foundling Hospital.
But when she returns six years later to claim her daughter, she discovers she has been taken by a mysterious stranger.
The resourceful Bess must track Clara down in a fast-paced, elegantly written novel that vividly conveys the sights, sounds and smells of Georgian London.
BY CHARLOTTE HEATHCOTE
Join the Mirror Book Club!
Each month we choose a paperback we think you’ll enjoy, either fiction or non-fiction. When you’ve read it, we’d love you to join our Facebook group and tell us what you thought, good or bad.
Current Mirror Book Club read:
A Keeper, by Graham Norton