By Rebecca Weigler, Charlotte Horsfield, Annie Ku and Steph Carroll
The Scandalous Confessions of Lydia Bennet, Witch by Melinda Taub
3 October, Grand Central Publishing
In a magical retelling of Jane Austen’s beloved classic, Pride and Prejudice, Taub uses the voice of the most enchanting and youngest of the Bennet sisters, Lydia, to recall the truth as to how the events of the Pride and Prejudice tale actually unfolded from her perspective, and what happened next.
We follow Lydia Bennet as she recounts the story, we are all too familiar with – how Mrs. Bennet’s foolish behaviour deters those around her, Mr. Bennet’s unimpressed demeanour towards his wife and the varying nature of all five Bennet daughters. Lydia’s fresh point of view displays the key themes of love and acceptance and turns the tables on how her mistakes that were previously frowned upon, may actually have been a key to protecting her family.
Twisting together the known and the unknown, Taub incorporates witchcraft and magic to the iconic storyline to bring a unique layer to the novel and offers both avid Austen readers and new readers, a whole new insight into the dangers and adventures of possessing magic at the time. With antagonists taking the form of demons and comfort characters becoming feline familiars, this new world of the Bennet sisters is just as captivating as it is classic.
Midnight is the Darkest Hour by Ashley Winstead
3 October, Sourcebooks Landmark
In a quiet yet deeply prejudiced Louisiana town lurks a murderer waiting to strike. Ruth and her friend, Everett, who are two outsiders, possess the knowledge to uncover the secrets of Bottom Springs.
Winstead creates a strong heroine in Ruth, an intelligent woman who struggles to define herself against the identity of her father, the preacher of Bottom Springs. Readers follow Ruth’s complex struggles as a woman who feels a sense of unbelonging in the town she grew up in, a place where many of her neighbours live their existence haunted by the fear of God, as well as their obsession with the ancient myths that refuse to stay in the town’s past.
This fall, Winstead weaves a page-turning Gothic thriller set in an evocative Louisiana landscape with an ending that will leave the most seasoned reader of Gothic fiction shocked beyond words. Midnight is the Darkest Hour is the perfect novel for those who want to be scared witless this October.
The Witches at The End of The World by Chelsea Iversen
17 October, Sourcebooks Landmark
Set in the deep woods of Norway, two magical sisters live hidden from society. Their magic marks them as witches and they were driven out by their village the day their mother was burned alive. Kaija is sweet-tempered, desiring a life amongst a community and wants to find companionship, even if it means she must sacrifice her magic for this normal life. In contrast, Minna possesses the core of a witch– a simmering hatred and rage that always threatens to spill over.
Betraying her sister, Kaija leaves Minna to start a new life amongst the villagers and in her devastation, Minna casts a curse to hurt those who took everything from her. The consequences of this curse are further reaching than anticipated and incite a deadly chain of events that bring everything crumbling down, even Kaija’s new life, but it is already too late to undo everything.
Silent Night by Sophie Hannah
26 October, Harper Collins
Sophie Hannah takes us back in time to December 1931, with the much-loved Agatha Christie character, Hercule Poirot, to see if he can solve another murder in time for Christmas.
A man is murdered in a Norfolk hospital ward, so Poirot and Inspector Edward Catchpool are sent to investigate. Cynthia, Catchpool’s Mother, insists Poirot stays in a crumbling mansion on the coast, so that they can all be together for the Festive season while he solves the case. To complicate matters, when Cynthia’s friend Arnold is set to be admitted to the same hospital, his wife finds herself convinced and fearful that he will be the killer’s next victim but provides no reasoning behind her worries.
If Poirot wants to get home before Christmas and out of this nightmarish scenario, he must solve the case within a week and attempt to prevent any more murders from occurring. However, whilst the world’s greatest detective tries to solve the case, someone else, someone merciless, has their own ideas about what ought to happen to Poirot this Christmas time. Will he solve the case before time runs out or will he stay trapped in an inescapable nightmare?