The Only StoryJulian Barnes Barnes’s latest novel is a poignant consideration of whether love is worth the pain and disappointment that so often accompanies it. Set in a familiar Barnesian metroland, we first meet Paul as a 19-year-old, giddily involved with 48-year-old Susan, whom he meets at the tennis club; half a century later, Paul, now alone, ruminates over this key episode in his life. White HousesAmy Bloom One of the tenderest, most compassionate novels I have read, this is the real story of first lady Eleanor Roosevelt’s 30-year affair with sports journalist Lorena Hickok. With the help of an archive of 3,500 letters, Bloom brilliantly re-imagines the dynamics of their relationship. The Silence of the GirlsPat Barker Barker’s powerful feminist revision of Homer’s Iliad creates a central narrative voice for Briseis, the Trojan queen given to Achilles as a victory prize. Through her we see the devastating effects of this very male war on the captured women, many of them still...

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