HISTORICAL FICTION

The Language of Food
By Annabel Abbs

Eliza Acton, based on the real cookery-book master, is an aspiring poet hoping to publish her book of poems but is bluntly rejected by her publisher. Told that “poetry is not the business of a lady”, she is asked to write a cookbook instead. Faced with the sudden bankruptcy of her father’s business and their flight from their home, she considers the publisher’s proposal. Not knowing the ABC of cooking, she hires the young Ann Kirby, the impoverished daughter of a father crippled by war and a mother suffering with dementia, who dreams of becoming a cook. Together they develop an unusual friendship and partnership as they attempt to interweave the art of poetry with the craft of cookery, breaking the mould of conventional cookbooks and revolutionising cookery writing.


HISTORICAL FICTION

Violeta
By Isabel Allende (Tr. Frances Riddle)

A deeply emotional novel, the New York Times bestselling author reveals the enchanting and passionate story of Violeta del Valle, a hundred-year-old woman writing a long letter to her grandson, whom she loves dearly. Born in 1920 in Chile in the middle of the Spanish Flu pandemic, she writes about her life a hundred years on, in the dawn of the Coronavirus pandemic, revealing its numerous ups and downs through the many years. Her times of immense joy and profound sadness, of passionate affairs and deep heartache and of wealth, poverty and loss as she is witness to the boundless disruptions of the 20th century, including the Great Depression and the continual fights for women’s freedom.