First, it's congratulations to Ann Weisgarber, whose first novel The Personal History of Rachel DuPree was shortlisted for the Orange Prize in 2009. Now her second novel, The Promise, is shortlisted for the Walter Scott Prize for the year's best historical novel. It's a wonderful novel and Ann deserves her place alongside bestsellers Kate Atkinson, Robert Harris, Jim Crace and Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton.
There's also a new release from another acclaimed Macmillan New Writing graduate, Eliza Graham.
1939. Youngster Benny Gault, a Kindertransport refugee from Nazi Germany’s anti-semitism, arrives at Harwich docks, label flapping round his neck, football under his arm, and a guilty secret in his heart. More than half a century later, Benny lies on his deathbed in his beautiful country house, Fairfleet, his secret still unconfessed. Rosamond, his nurse, has a guilty secret of her own concerning her mother’s death in a fire at Fairfleet, years earlier. As Benny and Rosamond unwind the threads binding them together, Rosamond must fight the unfinished violence of the past, now menacing both Fairfleet's serenity and Benny's last days.
I haven't read this one yet, but her 2011 novel Restoration is one of the most under-rated historical novels of recent years, and The One I Was is sure to be a treat for fans new and old.
Both books are available in print and ebook format.