At Last

at-last

Edward St Aubyn

First Sentence:     ‘Surprised to see me?’ said Nicholas Pratt, planting his walking stick on the crematorium carpet and fixing Patrick with a look of aimless defiance, a habit no longer useful but too late to change.

Back of the book:

THE FIFTH PATRICK MELROSE NOVEL

As friends, relatives and foes trickle in to pay their final respects to his mother Eleanor, Patrick Melrose finds himself questioning whether a life without parents will be the liberation he has so long imagined. Yet as the memorial service ends and the family gathers one last time, amidst the social niceties and the social horrors, the calms and the rapids, Patrick begins to sense a new current: the chance of some form of safety – at last.

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A Dance With Dragons: After the Feast

AfterfeastGeorge R.R. Martin

First Sentence:     The first flakes came drifting down as the sun was setting in the west.

Back of the book:

The future of the Seven Kingdoms hangs in the balance.

In King’s Landing the Queen Regent, Cersei Lannister, awaits trial, abandoned by all those she trusted; while in the eastern city of Yunkai her brother Tyrion has been sold as a slave. From the Wall, having left his wife and the Red Priestess Melisandre under the protection of Jon Snow, Stannis Baratheon marches south to confront the Boltons at Winterfell. But beyond the Wall the wildling armies are massing for an assault…

On all sides bitter conflicts are reigniting, played out by a grand cast of outlaws and priests, soldiers and skinchangers, nobles and slaves. The tides of destiny will inevitably lead to the greatest dance of all.

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A Dance With Dragons: Dreams and Dust

DreamsdustGeorge R.R. Martin

First Sentence:     The night was rank with the smell of man.

Back of the book:

In the aftermath of a colossal battle, new threats are emerging from every direction.

Tyrion Lannister, having killed his father, and wrongfully accused of killing his nephew, King Joffrey, has escaped from King’s Landing with a price on his head.

To the north lies the great Wall of ice and stone – a structure only as strong as those guarding it. Eddard Stark’s bastard son Jon Snow has been elected 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. But Jon has enemies both inside and beyond the Wall.

And in the east Daenerys Targaryen struggles to hold a city built on dreams and dust.

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Pure

Pure

Andrew Miller

First Sentence:     A young man, young but not very young, sits in an anteroom somewhere, some wing or other, in the Palace of Versailles.

Back of the book:

Deep in the heart of Paris, its oldest cemetery is, by 1785, overflowing, tainting the very breath of those who live nearby. Into their midst comes Jean-Baptiste Baratte, a young, provincial engineer charged by the king with demolishing it.

At first Baratte sees this as a chance to clear the burden of history, a fitting task for a modern man of reason. But before long, he begins to suspect that the destruction of the cemetery might be a prelude to his own.

Quote from the book:

Below them, the theatre-goers are fighting their way through the doors like scummed water draining out of a sink.

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Swimming Home

Deborah Levy

First Sentence:     When Kitty Finch took her hand off the steering wheel and told him she loved him, he no longer knew if she was threatening him or having a conversation.

Back of the book:

As he arrives with his family at the villa in the hills above Nice, Joe sees a body in the swimming pool. But the girl is very much alive. She is Kitty Finch: a self-proclaimed botanist with green-painted fingernails, walking naked out of the water and into the heart of their holiday. Why is she there? What does she want from them all? And why does Joe’s wife allow her to remain?

Quotes from the book:

“Sex with her had brought him to the edge of the yellow line on the platforms of tube and train stations where he had stood thinking about it.”

He said the jam changed the weather inside him, but she didn’t know what the weather was in the first place.

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