In Amber’s Wake by Christine Leunens, who of course wrote the book on which the movie Jojo Rabbit was based (it was called Caging Skies). Local author. It’s a romantic drama set in New Zealand during the 1980s.Ethan Grieg, a film student, is in love with his close friend Amber Deering, an environmental activist, who lives at her family’s seemingly picture-perfect stud farm. Amber loves Ethan dearly, but not in the way Ethan longs for. Instead, the man Amber has offered her heart is widower Stuart Reeds, a charming, refined British investor almost two generations older than her. As a Korean war veteran, Stuart is mentally prepared for the long, subtle war that begins between his young rival and himself for Amber’s heart. Set against background of the anti-nuclear movement, the Springbok tour and the Rainbow Warrior.
Again, Rachel by Marian Keyes. Sequel to Rachel’s Holiday all those years ago. Centred around the marvellous Walsh family – Rachel is out of rehab and is in fact the head therapist at the clinic which she attended back in the day. It’s terrific – she has a great way of getting real-life onto the page – I think she’s greatly undervalued as a quality writer. Her themes are ones which resonate with so many of us – addiction, relationships, love, families – and the dialogue is razor-sharp.