With September only a few days away I thought I had better hurry up with my blog of the most notable books of 2022 so far! It has been a fantastic year of reading with so many outstanding new releases and here are nine particularly notable ones that I can highly recommend. I don’t know…
When We Meet Again published in the US
By turns heartbreaking and hopeful, When We Meet Again is an aching and unforgettable exploration of the bonds that buoy us during our darkest hours.
“When We Meet Again is a poignant and absorbing novel about a young woman editor personally devastated by the historically true practice of “baby farming” during World War II-era London. Caroline Beecham’s emotional and beautifully written story is a testament to the enduring power of a mother’s love and to the power of books and stories themselves, in even our darkest times.”
Jillian Cantor, USA Today bestselling author of In Another Time and Half Life
When We Meet Again is being published tomorrow in the US by G. P. Putnam & Sons. I am really excited about sharing this story with American readers and hope that some of you will get in touch to share your thoughts and reviews as well as any images; who doesn’t love a shelfie, or a bookpile? When We Meet Again is my fourth novel and my US debut, which already makes it very special but it’s also special because it’s inspired by a family secret and because its themes have become even more relevant over the last eighteen months. The importance of friendship, love and the power of reading are prominent in the story, which follows a young London-based Editor, Alice Cotton, as she manages to cleverly combine the search for her missing child with creating much-needed books during wartime. Alice’s story intertwines with that of Theo Bloom, an American businessman tasked with helping Partridge Press overcome the publishing obstacles of the war. Theo and Alice are quickly drawn to each other during their darkest hours, bound by hope, love, secrets, and the belief that books have the power to change lives.
The role of books in entertaining, informing, and providing escapism, seem to have grown even more important through lockdown (I know I’ve read and listened to a lot more books!) and it’s not so hard to imagine what life was like for civilians who spent long periods of time waiting, as well as for the troops and servicemen and servicewomen. The story of how publishers helped each other when the industry was in turmoil during wartime is also threaded through this book and I hope pays homage to the importance of books in our lives. There are also a lot of lighter moments in the story with some wonderful real characters, animals and keepers from London Zoo, which stayed open during the war and created a sanctuary for Londoners, and for Alice!
“Books about the power of stories to bring people together and nourish their spirits are my favourite kind. So it was with much joy that I read When We Meet Again, a wonderful tribute to all things bookish. But it is also a compelling exploration of a heartbreaking and little known aspect of wartime life. The research, compassion and sensitivity poured into this novel are admirable and make for a deeply affecting read.”
Natasha Lester, New York Times bestselling author of The Paris Secret
The novel is a story of love and friendship and is dedicated to the Brighton Girls—Amanda, Becky, Gill, Lisa and Vicky—who have been a constant inspiration throughout my life. I met Amanda at four years old when we started primary school together, the others at secondary school and college; cheeky teenagers who are now five incredible women who I am lucky to count as friends. The bonds are as strong as they were through the fun times, as well as the years of hard work, finding partners and having children. The novel’s title, When We Meet Again, is significant for Alice and Theo but I never dreamt it would hold so much significance for me, and I’m sure many of you too, as we wait to see our loved ones again. I hope that’s not too far away (I can’t wait to see the Brighton girls) and in the meantime, happy reading and I hope you enjoy my new book!