1. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters: This story takes place in an English manor that the owners are struggling to keep up. They live in a time when the world around them is changing and they are not managing well the transition to a modern era. Their family doctor who is kind enough to make regular house calls soon realizes the secrets that reside at their home.
2. Falling Angels by Tracy Chevalier: This is the first novel I read by Chevalier and my very favorite. While the author is well known for The Girl with the Pearl Earring, Falling Angels is a wonderful book where the same story is told from different points of view.
3. Sister by Rosamund Lupton: I told every person I know to read this book just so I had people to talk to about it! I loved this novel and I was so excited to discover the work of Lupton. Her second novel, Afterwards, is terrific as well. "Sister" involves two sisters....one in New York City and the other in London. One sister goes missing and the story that follows is the search the other sister conducts to find her. Amazing!
4. Slammerkin by Emma Donoghue: The definition of the word Slammerkin is "a loose dress or a wanton woman." I picked this novel for my book club and it was a great, great book to discuss. The central character leaves her village and the only way to survive is prostitution until she is taken in to work in the household of a respectable family. She hides her past from them as long as she can. Donoghue later wrote "Room" which was on every possible Best Book list I came across. I love this author and how her writing differs so dramatically with each book.
5. The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton: I love this author and I was so fully captivated by this book. It's the type of story you get completely wrapped up in. A little girl comes off a ship alone, with no adult accompanying her. The dock master and his wife take in this toddler who only carries one suitcase. Inside is a book of fairy tales that holds a secret to her identity.