From gripping psychological thrillers to exciting debuts and new novels by literary greats, Penguin Books shared with us their top titles to read in 2017.
The Top Four
The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, Arundhati Roy
26 June 2017; Hamish Hamilton hardback, £20.00
In 1997 Arundhati Roy won The Booker Prize for her groundbreaking novel The God of Small Things. Now the author returns with The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, her first work of fiction in twenty years.
House of Names, Colm Toibin
25 May 2017; Viking hardback, £18.99
From one of the world’s greatest writers, House of Names is a brilliantly imagined story of a family at war with itself. Clytemnestra eagerly waits for her husband, Agamemnon, to return victorious from battle. Before he had set out he had sacrificed their beautiful young daughter to the gods. When Agamemnon returns home his wife will be waiting for him, for his death, for her revenge. And so this story of heartbreaking loss and brutal reprisal begins: their son is sent into the countryside to escape the darkness but he cannot avoid the bloody violence that swirls around the court; their other daughter, meanwhile, plots her own course of retribution.
Three Daughters of Eve, Elif Shafak
2 February 2017; Viking hardback, £14.99
A sweeping tale of faith and friendship, tradition and modernity, love and unexpected betrayal set in Istanbul and Oxford, this is the eagerly–anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Forty Rules of Love and The Bastard of Istanbul.
Homegoing, Yaa Gyasi
5 January 2017; Viking hardback, £12.99
One of the most exciting literary debuts of 2017, this is the profoundly moving story on the bonds of family and history. Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader’s wife. Taking us from the Gold Coast of Africa to the cotton-picking plantations of Mississippi; the consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow.
The Ones to Watch Out For
Gone: a girl, a violin, a life unstrung, Min Kym
6 April 2017; Viking hardback, £14.99
At 7 years old Min Kym was a prodigy, the youngest ever pupil at the Purcell School of Music. At 11 she won her first international prize. She worked with many violins, waiting for the day she would play ‘the one’. At 21 she found it: a rare 1696 Stradivarius, perfectly suited to her build and temperament. She recorded the Brahms concerto and a world tour was planned. Then, in a train station café, her violin was stolen and in an instant her world collapsed. She descended into a terrifying limbo land, unable to play another note. Gone is the deeply moving story of a child prodigy and her soulmate.
My Sister’s Bones, Nuala Elwood
9 February 2017, Viking hardback, £12.99
One of the most exciting debut thrillers of 2017, My Sister’s Bones tells the story of Kate: a war reporter who returns to the family home following the death of her mother to find a seaside town full of terrifying secrets.
The Witchfinder’s Sister, Beth Underdown
2 March 2017, Viking hardback, £12.99
It’s 1645. Alice Hopkins returns in disgrace, husbandless and pregnant, to her brother’s house in the small Essex town of Manningtree. When she left, Matthew was an awkward boy, bullied for the scars that disfigure his face. But the brother Alice has come back to is like a different person. Now Matthew has powerful friends, and mysterious business that keeps him out late into the night. Then the rumours begin: whispers of witchcraft, and of a great book, in which Matthew is gathering women’s names. A mysterious historical debut.
Swing Time, Zadie Smith
6 July 2017; Hamish Hamilton paperback, £8.99
From the multi-award winning, bestselling author of White Teeth and NW, Swing Time is the extraordinary story about friendship, music and true identity.
Available from all good retailers.