A Week in Books · Adele Parks · Afia Atakora · Ayisha Malik · Books · Brian McGilloway · Emily Gunnis · Literary Lowdown

Sarah's Vignettes Literary Lowdown ~ 16-22 March 2020

Welcome to this week’s round-up of book life at Sarah’s Vignettes.

How are you? It’s been a weird week, hasn’t it. It’s also been a relatively quiet week here on the blog. I have been fortunate though to receive some lovely books from publishers. They are all detailed further down in this blog post.

Please stay safe during this time and I hope you find lots of great books to lose yourself in. Reading can provide the perfect escape at any time but, for me, it’s needed more than ever right now.

~ On my bookshelf ~

I’ve added 4 books to my bookshelf this week, all due for publication in April and May. It’s going to be an awesome couple of months for reading if this little lot are anything to go by.

This Green and Pleasant Land by Ayisha Malik

This book is already out in hardback and digital. It’s due to be published in paperback by Zaffre on April 30th. I’ve read such good things about Ayisha’s writing that I am really looking forward to reading it.

I’ll be sharing my review for This Green and Pleasant Land here on publication day 🙂

This Green and Pleasant Land by Ayisha Malik

In the sleepy village of Babel’s End, trouble is brewing.

Bilal Hasham is having a mid-life crisis. His mother has just died, and he finds peace lying in a grave he’s dug in the garden. His elderly Auntie Rukhsana has come to live with him, and forged an unlikely friendship with village busybody, Shelley Hawking. His wife Mariam is distant and distracted, and his stepson Haaris is spending more time with his real father.

Bilal’s mother’s dying wish was to build a mosque in Babel’s End, but when Shelley gets wind of this scheme, she unleashes the forces of hell. Will Bilal’s mosque project bring his family and his beloved village together again, or drive them apart?


The Lost Child by Emily Gunnis

This one is already out in eBook and is due to be published in paperback by Headline on April 16th. I loved Emily’s first book The Girl in the Letter so I am sure The Lost Child will be just as good. I’ll be sharing an extract here on April 4th.

The Lost Child by Emily Gunnis

Her mother was the victim. Her father was the suspect. She was the only witness…

Rebecca Waterhouse is just thirteen when she witnesses her mother’s death at the hand of her father in Seaview Cottage.

But what else did Rebecca see?

Years later, Rebecca’s daughters Iris and Jessie know their mother will never speak of that terrible night. But when Jessie goes missing, with her gravely ill newborn, Iris realises the past may hold the key to her sister’s disappearance.

With Jessie in trouble, Iris must unravel a twisting story of love and betrayal in her mother’s family history.

Only then will Seaview Cottage give up its dark and tragic secret…


Just My Luck by Adele Parks

This is Adele Parks’ 20th novel and I am thrilled to both have a copy of the book and to be on the blog tour. I loved Adele’s last book Lies, Lies, Lies and I have been itching to read this one as soon as I first heard about.

Just My Luck is due to be published in paperback by HQ, HarperCollins on May 14th. I’ll be sharing my review here on the same day 🙂

Just My Lucy by Adele Parks

It’s the stuff dreams are made of – a lottery win so big, it changes everything.

For fifteen years, Lexi and Jake have played the same six numbers with their friends, the Pearsons and the Heathcotes. Over dinner parties, fish & chip suppers and summer barbecues, they’ve discussed the important stuff – the kids, marriages, jobs and houses – and they’ve laughed off their disappointment when they failed to win anything more than a tenner.  

But then, one Saturday night, the unthinkable happens. There’s a rift in the group. Someone doesn’t tell the truth. And soon after, six numbers come up which change everything forever.

Lexi and Jake have a ticket worth £18 million. And their friends are determined to claim a share of it.


Conjure Women by Afia Atakora

Oh, hello, beautiful book cover 🙂 I’m really intrigued by this book. The publisher thought I’d enjoy it because I’ve read The Familiars by Stacey Halls.

Conjure Women is due to be published in hardback by 4th Estate on April 16th. I’ll be sharing my review here on April 18th.

Conjure Women by Afia Atakora

The pale-skinned, black-eyed baby is a bad omen. That’s one thing the people on the old plantation are sure of. The other is that Miss Rue – midwife, healer, crafter of curses – will know what to do.

But for once Rue doesn’t know. Times have changed since her mother Miss May Belle held the power to influence the life and death of her fellow slaves. Freedom has come. The master’s Big House lies in ruins. But this new world brings new dangers, and Rue’s old magic may be no match for them.

When sickness sweeps across her tight-knit community, Rue finds herself the focus of suspicion. What secrets does she keep amidst the charred remains of the Big House? Which spells has she conjured to threaten their children? And why is she so wary of the charismatic preacher man who promises to save them all?

Rue understands fear. It has shaped her life and her mother’s before her. And now she knows she must face her fears – and her ghosts – to find a new way forward for herself and her people.

~ On my bedside table ~

The Last Crossing by Brian McGilloway

I’ve 100 pages left to read of The Last Crossing by Brian McGilloway. I’ll be sharing my review here on April 11th.

The Last Crossing by Brian McGilloway

Tony, Hugh and Karen thought they d seen the last of each other thirty years ago. Half a lifetime has passed and memories have been buried. But when they are asked to reunite – to lay ghosts to rest for the good of the future – they all have their own reasons to agree. As they take the ferry from Northern Ireland to Scotland the past is brought in to terrible focus – some things are impossible to leave behind.

In The Last Crossing memory is unreliable, truth shifts and slips and the lingering legacy of the Troubles threatens the present once again.


What books have you been reading and buying this week? Let me know by leaving a reply in the box below.

Until next week, happy reading!

6 thoughts on “Sarah's Vignettes Literary Lowdown ~ 16-22 March 2020

    1. It’s a difficult time. I find short stories help when I struggle to concentrate on novels. I’ve not heard of Waiting for Lindsay – I’ll look it up. Take care and hope you find your reading mojo xxxx

      Liked by 2 people

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