By Anna Robinson, Steph Carroll, Annie Ku and Jaime Butler
Rural: The Lives of the Working Class Countryside by Rebecca Smith
8th June, HarperCollins
The countryside is home to millions of people across the UK. With sprawling fields, lakes and hills, it can be a place of peace and comfort. But for those who work there who are tied to the land for their salary and livelihood, the control over what happens there does not lie with them.
Author Rebecca Smith begins with her own family history, from foresters in Cumbria and miners in Derbyshire, to millworkers in Nottinghamshire and builders of reservoirs and the Manchester Ship Canal.
Her book Rural explores the countryside Britain is so proud of and the labour of those who shaped it into what we see now. Through a collection of observations, Smith delivers the stories of professions and communities that are often overlooked, highlighting how precarious and uncertain their lives in nature can be.
Smith also traces how the rural working class has changed and evolved as industries transformed with the closure of mines, shrinking of country estates and holiday lets increasing with little room left for locals to live and work. As the backbone of Britain, the countryside is a vital line for agriculture and food and the legacy it leaves behind is constantly changing.
This book is for anyone who loves and embraces the countryside, those with a history of a bygone trade or anyone interested in the future of rural Britain.
Bad Summer People by Emma Rosenblum
8th June, Penguin Books Ltd
Fire Island is the idyllic hideaway for the city elite. What could be more perfect than thirty miles of golden sand, no standstill New York traffic and food and wine imported from the best in Manhattan? It seems like the most perfect summer… until secrets unravel, people are stabbed in the back by their ‘friends’ and a body is found underneath the boardwalk. Tranquillity turns to terror and friends become foes.
Lauren and Jen may sit pretty at the top of the social hierarchy on Fire Island, but that doesn’t protect themselves or their friends and families from being wrapped up in the hurricane of secrets and chaos that sweeps across the island this summer. They all soon realise that secrets can’t stay hidden for too long. Their single friend Rachel is desperate to find her perfect match, even if that means going after someone’s husband. The scandals are never ending here on Fire Island this summer.
Emma Rosenblum’s riveting debut is riddled with secrets, grudges that run deep, betrayals, infidelity and a whodunnit that leaves a once peaceful island full of murderous intrigue. This gripping novel reveals what darkness lies beyond the surface of these picture-perfect lives.
Going Bicoastal by Dahlia Adler
13th June, Wednesday Books
In this queer YA romcom, Natalya Fox has to decide where she will spend her summer. At home with her father in New York City? Or Los Angeles with her estranged mother? Staying in Manhattan would allow her to finally get to know her dream girl, the redhead Elly, and hang out with her close friends in her comfort zone. On the West Coast Natalya has an internship and a potential romance with Alex, the other cute intern. She doesn’t know if she wants to, or even how to reconnect with her mother, but going to LA would give her the chance.
The story plays out in parallel timelines as Natalya explores her new romances, discovers more about her plans for her future and finds ways to bond with her parents. The dual narrative is a rich way of following Natalya’s coming-of-age story as she connects with her Jewish heritage and bisexual experiences. The book promises to be sweet, summery and perfect for Pride Month.
Old Enough by Haley Jakobson
20th June, Dutton
It’s sophomore year of college and Savannah Henry is starting to feel like herself. She’s feeling happy to finally be the person she’s wanted to be, or almost, anyway. She’s out as bisexual, making friends in her school’s queer community and feeling relieved to be leaving high school relationship drama behind her.
Her optimism doesn’t last long with her childhood best friend Izzie suddenly coming back into her life. Sav is excited by the news of Izzie’s engagement but not so excited about having to face Izzie’s older brother again after what happened between them when Sav was sixteen. She’s forced to face past trauma she thought she’d left behind.
Meanwhile, Sav is connecting more with her new friend group and crushing on Wes from her Gender Studies class. These friends know and see her with a perspective that’s completely different to people in Sav’s past. And it’s terrifying, but exciting. Old Enough is a precious and honest depiction of young adulthood, queerness, reckoning with past friendships and falling into new ones.