Book Reveal! Our Featured Books For April

With brighter evenings and sunnier days, it's time to refresh your Spring reading. Come discover our latest book of the month picks as we reveal what's inside our April Book Box.

This month we're looking at The Home Scar by Kathleen MacMahon, Perilous Times by Thomas D Lee and The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim.

Local Voices: The Home Scar by Kathleen MacMahon

What's the craic?

On opposite sides of the world, half-siblings Cassie and Christo have built their lives around work, intent on ignoring their painful past. When a dramatic storm in Galway hits the headlines, they're drawn back there to revisit a glorious childhood summer, the last before their mother died.

But their journey uncovers memories of a far less happy summer - one that had tragic consequences. Confronted with the havoc their mother left in her wake, Cassie and Christo are forced to face their past and - ready or not - to deal with the messy tangle of parental love and neglect that shaped them. The Home Scar is a luminous and precise story about the inheritance of loss and the possibility of finally making peace with it.

Why we love it

This book is just so beautifully written. It's a thoughtful, insightful look at grief and childhood trauma and the way they can distort our perceptions and memories.

The story follows siblings Cassie and Christo as they journey to Galway, retracing the steps of a seemingly carefree holiday before their mother died. Through a series of small moments, the truth of that long-ago holiday is gradually uncovered. Kathleen MacMahon's delicate prose and sensitive story-telling makes each careful reveal all the more heart-breaking.

The home scar referenced in the title refers to the mark made by limpets on rocks when they repeatedly return to the same spot and there's something beautifully poignant in the idea running through the book that there are places and moments that indelibly mark us and that draw us back. It's a powerful, compelling book which we thoroughly recommend.

Science Fiction & Fantasy: Perilous Times by Thomas D Lee

What's the craic?

In perilous times like these, the realm doesn't just need a hero. It needs a knight in shining armour.

Sir Kay and his fellow knights awake from their mythical slumber whenever Britain has need of them; they fought at Agincourt and at the Somme.

But in these perilous modern times, the realm is more divided than ever, a dragon has been seen for the first time in centuries, and Kay is not the only ancient and terrible thing to come crawling up out of the ground...

Perilous Times is a fiercely entertaining contemporary take on the myths of Camelot, which asks: what happens when the Knights of the Round Table return to fix the problems of the modern world?

Why we love it...

The reviews say that it's perfect for fans of Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett and Ben Aaronovitch and I can see why. It's a wickedly funny and darkly humorous book that skewers any clichéd notions of Arthurian mythology you might have. These knights are soldiers, with all the disillusionment and flaws you might expect from being continually resurrected to fight in wars you don't understand. 

This time they're back to deal with a threat like none they've ever faced before - catastrophic climate change, out of control culture wars and a corporate take-over of pretty much anything resembling a government. It's bitingly satirical imagining of a not too distant future and I loved it!

Bucket List Books: The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim

Image shows the cover of 'The Enchanted April' by ELIZABETH VON ARNIM

What's the craic?

Mrs Wilkins and Mrs Arbuthnot, cowed and neglected by their husbands, make a daring plan: they will have a holiday. Leaving a drab and rainy London one April and arriving on the shores of the Mediterranean, they discover a flower-filled paradise of beauty, warmth and leisure.

Joined by the beautiful Lady Caroline and domineering Mrs Fisher, also in flight from the burdens of their daily lives, the four women proceed to transform themselves and their prospects.

Why we love it...

Written in 1922, The Enchanted April is a charming story of four very different women who respond to an advert to rent an Italian castle for a month.

Thrown together by circumstance and bound by their own discontentments, the four women don't exactly get along to begin with but the warm Italian climate, beautiful scenery and growing friendship between them gradually has a transformative affect on each of them. A delightful book full of sunshine and character, that'll leave longing for your own holiday escapade. 

Where to find them

All three books are available in our April 2024 Book Box - subscribe today to get first dibs or treat yourself to a one-off box.

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