It is a sign of a special book when weeks after publication it appears at the top of the bestseller list. Once the fanfare of publicity has died down and the newspaper reviews have been carefully recycled it is the reader who must carry on the publicity and so Elizabeth is Missing by Emma Healy has done well. It is the ultimate unreliable narrator novel. Its key protagonist is suffering from dementia, and manages to retain suspense throughout. H is for Hawk came out in paperback this week and also went to number one – hopefully it will stay there a while.
Anne Tyler’s twenty-second novel A Spool of Blue Thread has just been published. Set in Baltimore (as usual) it tells the story of three generations of a family with extraordinary precision – she just seems to get better with each one.
There is good news for those who loved Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life (and I am one of those). A God In Ruins, her new book coming out in May, takes one of the characters, the bomber pilot Teddy, and tells his story (without the rebirths). Having given us a brilliant description of the Blitz in Life after Life, She tells us the story from the other side just as poignantly.