All Fours by Miranda July

Artist, film-maker and writer Miranda July delivers the comic novel of the year with All Fours, a story that is hilarious, tender, and very, very sexy.

Our narrator – a fictionalised version of July – is a 45-year-old LA-based creative who decides to drive across the country at the mid-point of her life. She plans the route with her husband and child, who encourage her to go and have an adventure. But, on the first night and only 20 minutes from home, she beds down at a motel and can’t quite bring herself to leave. Thus follows an odyssey into the self, as she tries to come to terms with what mid-life represents, analyses what has come before, and descends into panic about what is to come.

Taking on family, desire, menopause, parenting, and sex, this is a brave, raunchy and satisfying novel that sits somewhere between Nathan Hill’s Wellness and Claire Kilroy’s Soldier Sailor. – Tom M

How to Love Your Daughter by Hila Blum

Translated from Hebrew, this haunting novel tells of one woman’s estrangement from her daughter, and her desperation to understand where it all went so wrong. 

It opens as Yoella lays eyes on her granddaughters for the very first time, standing across the street from what she now knows is her daughter’s house. Through memories flitting back and forth through time, she slowly unravels what happened to lead up to this moment. It’s clear that Yoella loved her daughter from the moment she was born, feeling an instant overwhelming love like nothing she had ever experienced. A love so strong that it consumed her. So why is it that her daughter actively chose to cut her out of her life?

There is some incredible writing here, and I really enjoyed the way Yoella refers to different books she’s read and have influenced her thinking (the list of which you’ll find at the back of the book – everything from Alice Munro and Anne Enright to Margaret Atwood). A very thought-provoking read with all the hallmarks of an Elizabeth Strout novel. – Emma

Sandwich by Catherine Newman

For fans of Anne Tyler and Nora Ephron , a witty and powerfully moving tale of one family’s annual holiday on Cape Cod.

Rocky loves her summer sandwiched between her elderly frail parents and her blossoming young adult children. Crammed into a tiny house , secrets inevitably spill out over the course of the week whilst she tries to hold everything together.

This is family life laid bare in all its messiness but filled with love. A perfect summer read! – Sue