Longer evenings combined with more time at home for many of us means now is the perfect time to get your summer reads ready. Whether you’re looking for something light-hearted, inspirational, or gripping, here’s the top picks from Evans HQ to add to your read list this summer.
Johnny Casey, his two brothers Ed and Liam, their beautiful wives and all their kids spend a lot of time together. On the surface the Casey’s seem perfect- a happy, successful family, but we soon discover things are a lot darker than they seem. Some people clash, and others like each other a little too much. Things are kept under wraps until Ed’s wife Cara gets concussion and can no longer keep her thoughts to herself. One careless comment at a family birthday party sets things in motion as Cara begins to let secrets slip one by one, and in the subsequent unravelling the adults find themselves asking whether it’s finally time to grow up?
Newlyweds Celestial and Roy seem to embody the American dream and the New South - he’s an up-and-coming executive and she’s a talented artist. Just as they begin to settle into married life, they’re torn apart by a wrongful conviction that sends Roy to prison for a crime Celestial knows he didn’t commit. Jones’ narrative switches between retrospective first person accounts and heartfelt letters in a way that forges an intimate relationship between the reader and protagonists. You’re rooting for the couple from the offset, and watching as their relationship unravels at the hands of a prejudiced system. It's a heart-breaking but hopeful read.
In Circe, the titular character reclaims the narrative from the classic The Odyssey. Circe, daughter of Helios, grows up in the shadows, at home in neither the world of Gods or mortals. When Circe discovers a dark power of her own – witchcraft, she is banished to the island of Aiaia, where she hones her craft. Yet, a woman who stands alone will never be left for long, and among her island’s visitors comes the mortal Odysseus, for whom she’ll risk everything. Circe is a vivid epic of family rivalry, love and loss. A great read if you’re looking for fantasy and escapism, that’s still relevant and relatable.
Michelle Obama’s memoir is a must-read, and recently being made into a Netflix documentary, now is the perfect time to get into the book. Michelle described the book as a deeply personal experience, and that’s something the reader can feel throughout. Michelle reflects on her life both before and during her time in the white house, and her storytelling is captivating the whole way through. Michelle invites readers into her world, chronicling formative experiences with honesty and wit. An inspiring, honest and captivating read from start to finish.
Zadie Smith’s acclaimed 2005 novel feels like it could have been published yesterday, so if you haven’t read it yet, or haven’t read it for a while, now is a great time to revisit it. Loosely based on E.M Forster’s Howard’s End, the novel deals with family, race, culture, academia and ideas surrounding beauty. The novel centres on two families whose lives become increasingly intertwined: The Belsey’s and the Kipps’s. The Belsey’s have always defined themselves as liberal and atheist, so when their eldest son Jerome, lately a born again Christian decides to travel to London to intern for ultra-conservative Christian Monty Kipps, things begin to unravel. Later, when the Kipps move to the fictional university town of Wellington, old academic rivalries are revived, and the lives of both families take unexpected twists and turns.
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