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26th Aug 2021

5 enthralling books to enjoy reading in the sunshine

Katy Thornton

Nothing better than laying in the sun and reading a good book. 

We can deny it no longer. The last days of summer are upon us, but there’s still time to enjoy them. Whether you’re staycationing, off on a plane, or just sitting in your back garden, here’s a list of five books to keep you occupied while you sun yourself.

1. Our Little Cruelties, Liz Nugent

If you love a thriller, Irish novelist Liz Nugent is the writer for you. Her novels are full of incredibly wicked but compelling characters, and she weaves a story that will keep you up at night. Our Little Cruelties follows brothers Brian, Will, and Luke, who have never been especially close and have a knack for betraying one another. Small sibling rivalries turn into big adult issues, and at the beginning of the novel all we know is that one of them is dead. This novel had me guessing right until the very end. A must read.

2. Home Stretch, Graham Norton

This is Graham Norton’s third novel and it begins in 80s Ireland when a car goes off the road and three people are killed. Ashamed of the circumstances behind the crash and feeling guilt for surviving, Connor leaves Ireland behind in search of another life, and for the first time begins to feel comfortable in his own skin. But can you ever truly leave the past in the past? Norton writes masterfully about Ireland in a time where homosexuality was illegal and the toll this took on those growing up in this era.

3. About Us, Sinéad Moriarty

The perfect beach read, or back garden read depending on where you are. About Us is something of a romantic comedy, for when romance goes wrong. It follows Ann and Ken, approaching retirement and unhappy with their boring lifestyle, Alice and Niall, who have differing opinions on the responsibilities to their four children and to each other, and Orla, who wants to embark on a new relationship, but feels ashamed of a condition she has. These people seek out Maggie, a sex and relationship therapist, to help them through their issues – but what if it’s too late? This novel is as funny as it is gut-wrenching and you will develop an attachment to the characters.

4. The Break, Marian Keyes

She is one of Ireland’s most prolific contemporary writers. Marian Keyes pumps out novels like there’s no tomorrow, and really, you could choose any of her stories for a day of reading in the sun. The Break is about Amy and Hugh, happily married, or so Amy thought. When Hugh asks for a break from their marriage to find himself, Amy feels betrayed without him. He says he’s coming back, but what if he doesn’t? Amy decides to take advantage of their time apart, but will she enjoy it too much? This Dublin based novel is full of plot twists and heartaches.

5. The Silent Patient, Alex Michealides

If you haven’t read this already, and you love psychological thrillers, you’re going to finish The Silent Patient in an afternoon. The word unputdownable was made for this novel. Dr. Theo Faber is working at the Grove institute as a psychotherapist. He’s tasked to work with Alicia Berenson, who shot her husband five times before never speaking again. Desperate to get her to speak, Theo works tirelessly with Alicia, but the truth is a dangerous thing – and there are those who need it to stay buried.

Which novel will you read first?

Header image via Instagram/alex.michaelides

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