The days are getting darker, the weather is getting cooler, everyone is digging out their jumpers from the back of their wardrobes, but for us at Bookends that means the arrival of our favourite season – autumn! We love snuggling up with a good book, hot drink in hand, and a warm pair of woolly socks on our feet. To celebrate the arrival of crispy leaves and all-things-hygge, we’ve picked our top autumnal reads, perfect for curling up with at this time of year.
The heartbreaking true stories of victims of a notorious adoption scandal – some of whom learned the truth from Lisa Wingate’s No.1 bestselling novel Before We Were Yours.
From the 1920s to 1950, Georgia Tann ran a corrupt baby business at the Tennessee Children’s Home Society in Memphis. She offered up more than 5,000 orphans tailored to the wish lists of eager parents – hiding the fact that many weren’t orphans at all, but stolen sons and daughters of poor families, desperate single mothers, and women told in maternity wards that their babies had died.
The publication of Lisa Wingate’s novel Before We Were Yours brought new awareness of Tann’s child trafficking. Adoptees who knew little about their pasts gained insight into the startling facts behind their family histories. Encouraged by their contact with Wingate and award-winning journalist Judy Christie, who document the stories of fifteen adoptees in this book, many survivors set out to trace their roots and find their birth families.
Before and After includes moving and shocking accounts of the ways in which adoptees were separated from their first families. Often raised as only children, many have joyfully reunited with siblings in the final decades of their lives. In Before and After, Wingate and Christie tell of first meetings that are all the sweeter and more intense for time missed, and of families from very different social backgrounds reaching out to embrace brothers, sisters, and cousins.
Get your copy of BEFORE AND AFTER here
What is that unique feeling that goes hand-in-hand with making something from scratch? Do you ever wonder where the time goes when you’re lost in drawing or working with clay? Are you happiest when you’re sewing or knitting?
Craft enthusiasts are no doubt already aware of the joys of making and the frustration when you must put aside your project and go back to your day job or to less enticing tasks around the house. But there is more to crafting than the simple enjoyment of a creative hobby.
Drawing on the first-hand accounts from everyday crafters, Craftfulness considers the vital well-being effects to be gained from the simple expression of your creativity, and investigates the soul-cleansing and stress-relieving benefits of making things by hand.
An all-you-need-to-know friendly guide to inspire you to give making a go, Craftfulness:
– explores the science of creativity and the authors’ down-to-earth craft ethos, as well as why everyone should develop a craft habit;
– suggestsways to make time in a hectic life for everyday creative work
– considers how we can try to overcome self-criticism and lack of confidence
– features simple but immensely satisfying craft projects to still the mind and soothe the soul, complete with beautifully illustrated step-by-step instructions
To read Craftfulness is the first step on the path to leading a happier, healthier, more satisfying and fulfilling life.
Get your copy of CRAFTFULNESS here
A young woman has gone missing from her home, Chester Grange, leaving no trace, save a large pool of blood in her bedroom and a slew of dark rumours about her marriage. A few miles away across the moors, the daughters of a humble parson, Charlotte, Emily, and Anne Brontë are horrified, yet intrigued.
Desperate to find out more, the sisters visit Chester Grange, where they notice several unsettling details about the crime scene: not least the absence of an investigation. Together, the young women realise that their resourcefulness, energy and boundless imaginations could help solve the mystery – and that if they don’t attempt to find out what happened to Elizabeth Chester, no one else will.
The path to the truth is not an easy one, especially in a society which believes a woman’s place to be in the home, not wandering the countryside looking for clues. But nothing will stop the sisters from discovering what happened to the vanished bride, even as they find their own lives are in great peril…
As the wife of retired ship’s doctor Dr Henry Parker, Evelyn is living out her twilight years aboard the Golden Sunset. Every night she dresses for dinner – gown, tiara, runners – and regales her fellow passengers with stories of a glamorous life travelling the world in luxury, as well as showing off her superior knowledge of everything from ships’ customs to biographical details of her heroine, Florence Nightingale. The crew treat her with deference. And forbearance.
But when Henry goes missing, Evelyn sets off to search every part of the grand ocean liner to find him, casino, nightclub and off-limits areas included.
Misadventures are had, new friends are made, scandalous behaviour noted – all news to Evelyn. If only she could remember the events of the night before as clearly as she can recall the first time she met Henry on a passage from England to Australia in 1953 and fell in love, abandoning her dreams to become a midwife to be a wife instead – and the long-ago painful events that left Evelyn all at sea.
Why is it so hard to forget some things and so hard to remember others? And where is Henry?
What would you do if you received a love letter that wasn’t meant for you?
Bea used to feel confident, outgoing and fun, but she’s not sure where that person went.
Over the last few months, she’s found herself becoming reclusive and withdrawn. And despite living with her two best friends, she’s never felt lonelier. To make things worse, she’s become so dependent on her daily routine, she’s started to slip out of everyone else’s.
But when a mysterious battered envelope covered in stars lands on her doormat, Bea wonders if she could find the courage to open it.
It isn’t addressed to her, but it could be… if you squinted…
Some novels hold you in their spell and never let you go…
1960. Thirteen-year-old Rebecca lives in fear of her father’s temper. As a storm batters Seaview Cottage one night, she hears a visitor at the door and a violent argument ensues. By the time the police arrive, Rebecca’s parents are dead and the visitor has fled. No one believes Rebecca heard a stranger downstairs…
2014. Iris, a journalist, is sent to cover the story of a new mother on the run with her desperately ill baby. But fatefully the trail leads to the childhood home of Iris’s own mother, Rebecca…Seaview Cottage.
As Iris races to unravel what happened the night Rebecca’s parents were killed, it’s time for Seaview Cottage to give up its secrets.