5 Brilliant Beach Reads


by Camilla Ridley

Our friend Ros from the award winning independent Main Street Books shares her top holiday reads for this summer


Our friend Ros at the Main Street Book Store in her Ridley London printed floral silk shirt dress


1. Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason

Everyone tells Martha Friel she is clever and beautiful, a brilliant writer with a devoted husband. A gift, her mother once said, not everybody gets. So why is everything broken?  At heart it’s about the love between two sisters, it’s one of those books you’ll want to press into the hands of your friends. Perfect for fans of Fleabag…Buy the book


2. A Net for Small Fishes by Lucy Jago

The court of James I is no place for the weak.  Frances Howard has brains, beauty and a powerful family, Anne Turner has wit and ingenuity, but no position.  While their unlikely friendship brings Anne the excitement and notice she craves, danger lurks in its wake.  This is a richly realised, gripping historical novel, perfect for fans of The Favourite.Buy the book


3. Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Be kind to yourself and pick up a copy of Lessons in Chemistry, it is a joy! Elizabeth Zott is a character to fall in love with - clever, direct and (often unwittingly) very funny.  A born scientist in a world that struggles with the very idea of a woman in the job, she is as surprised as anyone to find herself a single mother starring in a cookery show.  Not everyone is happy with her style - educating and empowering her female audience about the correct measure of sodium chloride to add. Top tip: try not to read it too quickly, you will miss Elizabeth...Buy the book


4. The Whalebone Theatre by Joanna Quinn

Aged four, Christabel meets the arrival of her stepmother with a sceptical expression and a mouthful of grubby snow, standing in front of her home, Chilcombe Manor.  Their relationship never really warms, but it is the love between siblings, Christabel, Flossie (aka ‘the veg’) and Digby that is at the heart of this glorious novel. The children bring themselves up in an eccentric country house populated by oblivious, partying grown ups, finding education and entertainment in creating their Whalebone Theatre in a world soon to be broken apart by WWII....Buy the book


5. Invisible Child by Andrea Elliott

I was at first put off this book by its length and seemingly bleak subject matter.  Luckily a mild dose of Covid gave me the time to dive in, and I’m so grateful I did.  Invisible Child is one of those eye-opening, life-changing books that you want to press into the hands of everyone you meet.  If you loved Educated by Tara Westover, please read Invisible Child, you won’t regret meeting Dasani or her family.....Buy the book

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