After the Party by Cassie Hamer (released 18 February)
After the Party (Harlequin Fiction 2019), the debut novel by Cassie Hamer, is a light-
hearted and entertaining story about parenting, marriage and family. After the guests
have departed in the aftermath of her five-year-old daughter’s birthday party, Lisa
realises she has an unfamiliar child in the house, Ellie, who wasn’t even invited to the party and seems to have been abandoned by her mother. A hilarious parenting
adventure with a serious issue at the centre, this book explores the ‘it takes a village’ mentality: how far we would go to protect children – not only our own, but the children of others.
Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami
The latest novel by Japanese author Haruki Murakami is Killing Commendatore (Harvill Secker 2018), a mysterious and compelling novel with complex characters and an intricate and layered plot. The story begins when the protagonist – a portrait painter, recently separated – moves to an old mountain house that used to belong to a famous painter and discovers hidden in the attic a secret painting depicting a violent and bloody battle scene, which unlocks a chain of bizarre and confronting events. Magic realism, Nazi assassination attempts, lost love, parental sacrifice, sexual desire, adolescent angst, the search for self-identity and the meaning of life, the toll of grief, and the importance of the creation of art – this book has a bit of everything. By the end, the reader is believing in ideas that at the beginning of the story, they would not have thought possible. Very thought-provoking and full of the metaphors of life.
Call Me Evie by J.P. Pomare
One of this summer’s literary psychological mysteries, Call Me Evie by JP Pomare, will grab your attention and keep you guessing. The story teeters between the past and the present, recounted by Kate (aka Evie) who may or may not be an unreliable narrator. It is clear she is being held against her will in an isolated house in rural New Zealand, but is her captor intent on harming her or only trying to protect her? As the story develops, and Kate remembers more details from her past, the book explores the themes of trust, sacrifice, betrayal, mental health, culpability, vulnerability, truth and lies.