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Kate Sawyer’s book recommendations

Still Life by Sarah Winman

A sweeping saga about a family whose bonds aren't as straightforward as blood and their lives over decades in both the east end of London and the heart of Florence. Brilliant character studies of ordinary lives that are much more than that with deep musings on art, food and love. Immersive, funny, warm and full of life.

Cecily by Annie Garthwaite

A fresh and startling modern retelling of the life of Cecily Neville. More often known as the wife of Richard the Lionheart or the mother of Richard III, this novel tells events from Cecily's perspective with visceral explorations of motherhood, power and ambition.

Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead

A huge story that spans the life of fictional woman aviator Marian Graves interwoven with the story of the modern day actress who is portraying her in a film.

Mayflies by Andrew O'Hagan

A novel about friendship, music, the doors education can open, the brevity of youth and assisted dying. All to the backdrop of the tumultuous Britain of the late ’80s and the same country forty years later, on the edge of Brexit. An uplifting read, considering its subject matter!

Assembly by Natasha Brown

A brief but brilliant book that has been likened to Mrs Dalloway. The writing is sparse but the ideas far reaching as the central character reflect on what it means to be Black British living amongst the spoils of colonialism. A thoughtful and at times confronting read.


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