Just out in paperback is the 'Cleaner of Chartres' by Salley Vickers. It's a stylish contemporary story about the cleaner who arrives unexpectedly in a French town and the lives she touches. But mild Agnes has a secret past and when she falls foul of the town's worst gossip, the life she had fought so long to leave behind her starts to catch her up.
Salley Vickers polishes her cast of characters to a rich patina, drawing in themes such as faith and love and produces a gripping and heartwarming story about good intentions gone wrong and second chances. Nicki absolutely loved this when she read the hardback last year.
The current book that Mark can't stop talking about in the shop is 'The Wall' by William Sutcliffe. He was completely blown away by this brilliantly told coming-of-age tale which will leave you with shredded nails but hope in your heart.
Josh lives in Amarias, an Israeli settlement in the West bank behind the 'Separation Fence' ('The Wall'). When Josh investigates a tunnel he discovers running under The Wall, he starts a chain of events that threaten lives on both sides of the fence, but might just get him killed. It is surprising, heartbreaking, yet beautifully told - and quite simply superb.
The book is appropriate for adults and teens - we wouldn't have been surprised to see it on the Carnegie list.
Although school's now out, a big thank you to Noel Janis-Norton for an inspiring talk to parents at Larkmead School in Abingdon this week, and her book 'Calmer, Easier, Happier Homework'.
Noel's experience, wisdom and tried-and-tested strategies can help our children become more confident, reduce stress and teach them all kinds of skills from thinking problems through to managing their time more effectively. We cannot recommend this book highly enough as both booksellers and parents!