Coming Up To Christmas
By Charlotte Barber, Jaime Butler, Maisy Twaddle and Anna Robinson
Witcha Gonna Do by Avery Flynn
6 December, Berkley
Being a member of the most powerful family of witches without any magical abilities is hard for Tilda Sherwood. Especially when she keeps being set up on dates with Gil Connolly, a man who has an ego large enough to match his good looks. But when she accidentally makes her sister’s spell glitch, cursing her whole family, things go from bad to worse.
Due to having no magical abilities Tilda is forced to enlist the only person who can help her break the spell, which results in her having to work alongside Gil in order to amend the wrongs she has created.
Now they must work together to save her family and outmanoeuvre some evil-minded forces that are bent on achieving world domination. But when they join forces, they find there may be more than just a curse at risk as their attraction to one another builds.
Animal Life by Audur Ólafsdóttir, Translated by Brian FitzGibbon
6 December, Grove Atlantic
Set in the days leading up to Christmas in Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavíc, Animal Life tells the story of a midwife named Dómhildur. At the centre of the plot is Dómhildur’s discovery of a collection of her grandaunt’s – in whose old apartment she’s currently living – old letters and manuscripts. Coming from a long line of midwives (her grandaunt included), as well as undertakers on her father’s side, Dómhildur dives into her aunt’s musings on birth and death, beginnings and endings, as well as what it means to be human. Dómhildur’s life includes the added chaos of an Australian tourist neighbour, a terrible and quickly approaching winter storm and the warnings of her meteorologist sister. This beautifully humorous combination is sure to fill your Christmas season with joy, hope and warmth.
6 December marks the release of the English translation of this novel originally written in Icelandic and published in 2020. Ólafsdóttir, an acclaimed Icelandic novelist, poet and playwright has received the Nordic Council Literature Prize and the Icelandic Literature Prize for her past works. Brian FitzGibbon has translated various novels, film scripts and plays from Icelandic, French and Italian, including one of Ólafdóttir’s previous novels, Butterflies in November.
The Ballerinas: A Novel by Rachel Kapelke-Dale
12 December, St. Martin’s Press
From the author of Graduates in Wonderland comes The Ballerinas, an exploration of female rage, the pursuit of physical perfection in the name of artistic expression and the complexities of female friendships.
It tells the story of Delphine Leger and her time at the Paris Opera Ballet before a secret forced her to run away to begin a new life in Saint Petersburg. Thirteen years later a now thirty-six-year-old Delphine is preparing to return to her former home to choreograph the ballet that will kickstart the next phase of her career at the legendary Palais Garnier Opera House.
Her secret once threatened to upend the lives of her best friends and fellow dancers Lindsay and Margaux, and she discovers that things have very much changed during her time away. No secrets can stay buried forever.
Alternating between Delphine, Margaux and Lindsay’s adolescence at the Paris Opera and the present day, The Ballerinas embarks on a twisty journey about passion, obsession and the dangers of ambition. Kapelke-Dale deftly examines the lingering impacts of ballet’s patriarchal culture and the effects of trauma and the asymmetries of power that can derail promising young women.
The Tudors in Love: Passion and Politics in the Age of England’s Most Famous Dynasty by Sarah Gristwood
13 December, St. Martin’s Press
From biographer and historian Sarah Gristwood comes a unique insight into the world of England’s most famous dynasty – the Tudors. This non-fiction exploration into the life of Henry VIII and his children offers a delve into the world of court life.
The rules of romantic courtly love were key components in shaping the politics and international successes of the period, something that Gristwood explores through great detail and factual information. She surveys the famed marriages of England’s most notorious King, why Anne Boleyn had to die and why Elizabeth I’s courtiers hailed her as a goddess.
So often portrayed in the media, the Tudor period was rife with love and betrayal that Gristwood’s ground-breaking book delves deep into. Surrounded by code and regulations, life and love in the English courts of 1485-1603 are placed under a microscope and dissected for a contemporary reader in this powerful book.
Romantic obsessions that have shaped the history of the world – such as the creation of the Church of England – stem from this period and have changed forever how the world works.