Daisy Buchanan’s sharp and sexy second novel asks timely questions about love, friendship and what happens when work takes over our lives
by Daisy Buchanan (Sphere £9.99, 400pp)
Lurking in the fashion cupboard at the glossy magazine where she is an unpaid intern, 26-year-old Imogen is filling in her umpteenth job application before setting off, late again, to the part-time job at a factory that she juggles with bar work and a racy blog about modern dating.
At an especially low moment, when she has been rejected for a job on Modern Ferret, Imogen is offered a staff job on a new online magazine, The Know. Her forty-something boss, Harri, seems a perfect role model: poised, elegant, effortlessly confident.
Yet behind Harri’s serene facade there are anxieties and insecurities.
For both women, work is an addictive drug that comes at a cost.
Daisy Buchanan’s sharp and sexy second novel asks timely questions about love, friendship and what happens when work takes over our lives.
When Ali Smith began her quartet of novels with Autumn in 2016, she planned to write about the events of the changing seasons
by Ali Smith (Penguin £16.99, 240pp)
When Ali Smith began her quartet of novels with Autumn in 2016, she planned to write about the events of the changing seasons.
From the Brexit vote to climate change and the election of Donald Trump, her approach was always oblique and full of playful digressions. Companion Piece weaves together two pandemic stories, one set in 2021, the other at the time of the Black Death.
Her narrator, Sandy, is an artist who moves into her father’s house during the Covid lockdown after he is hospitalised.
She is contacted by an old university acquaintance who has a strange story of a mysterious object which provides a link between the modern lockdown story and a haunting tale of an orphaned girl at the time of the Black Death.
Smith’s captivating novel suggests that our modern troubles have deep roots in the past.
Author Lee Schofield went to work with the RSPB in the Lake District national park in 2013
by Lee Schofield (Penguin £10.99, 368pp)
In 2015, England’s last golden eagle vanished from the Lake District where the RSPB had been keeping an anxious watch over him. He was around 20 years old and had spent a decade alone after his mate died.
Author Lee Schofield went to work with the RSPB in the Lake District national park in 2013. His job involves a delicate negotiation between the fragile ecology of the area, the traditional hill farms with their claim to cultural heritage and the visiting tourists.
Indeed the poet Wordsworth, who lived in the Lake District, described it as ‘a sort of national property in which every man has a right and interest’.
Beautifully written, with an urgent sense of the need to protect our endangered landscape, this is a manifesto for a wilder future.
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