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THE DISTANT SHORES of Santa Montefiore (Simon & Schuster £8.99, 416pp)

THE DISTANT SHORES of Santa Montefiore (Simon & Schuster £8.99, 416pp)

THE DISTANT SHORES

by Santa Montefiore (Simon & Schuster £8.99, 416pp)

When biographer Margot Hart arrives at the Irish estate of Castle Deverill, she is full of excitement.

The castle, once home to the aristocratic Deverill family, is now a luxury hotel, and Margot stays there as writer-in-residence, while researching the family’s long and troubled history.

Margot’s grandfather was a close friend of Harry Deverill, who died in World War I, leaving his illegitimate brother JP as heir to the estate.

Having sold the castle to fund his divorce, JP still lives on the land, but can the Deverill family ever get their birthright back?

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The fifth volume of the epic chronicle of the Deverills of Santa Montefiore is an irresistible confection of family secrets, vengeful ghosts and near-fatal accidents in which love ultimately conquers all.

MAGPIE by Elizabeth Day (4th Estate £8.99, 336pp)

MAGPIE by Elizabeth Day (4th Estate £8.99, 336pp)

PIE

by Elizabeth Day (4th Estate £8.99, 336pp)

“One for sorrow,” says the rhyme of magpies. So it looks like an omen when a magpie flies into a perfect house that author Marisa is looking at. But she refuses to let it bother her.

After endless terrible dates, she finally met the man she needed. Town consultant Jake is handsome, kind, and sexy, and after only a few months suggests they move in together and start a family.

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It all sounds too good to be true – and this is proof. When one of Jake’s deals falls through, they have to take on a tenant, Kate, who seems strangely at home in Marisa and Jake’s house.

Elizabeth Day’s stylish thriller combines an ingeniously twisting plot with a compassionate approach to the emotionally charged issues of infertility, surrogacy and the lingering damage of dysfunctional families.

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SORROW AND BLISS by Meg Mason (W&N £8.99, 358pp)

PAIN AND HAPPINESS

by Meg Mason (W&N £8.99, 358pp)

Shortly after their wedding, Martha and Patrick are at a wedding when another guest asks how they met. “Patrick is like the couch that was in your house growing up,” Martha says. “You can’t remember he wasn’t there.”

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In fact, they met when Patrick was 13 and Martha’s cousin Oliver, who was at school with Patrick, invited him to spend Christmas with his family.

Patrick falls in love with Martha, but they break up – Patrick to train as a doctor, Martha for a disastrous first marriage – before reigniting a relationship marred by Martha’s depression.

It is a disease which Mason does not name, representing it rather by dashes.

Heartbreaking and comically redemptive, Meg Mason’s elegant debut novel examines broken lives and whether they can ever be mended.

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