The Other Hoffman Sister (Little, Brown/ Jonathan Ball)
In 1902 the Hoffman family move from Germany to a bleak desert farm somewhere north of Okahandja in what is then German South West Africa. Ingrid, the younger sister, worries about her older sister Margarete, who begins to withdraw from her family, and who seems to be going slightly mad. Then Baron von Ketz, a nasty poiece of work who has a farm two hours horse ride away, is murdered, and his family and the Hoffman’s return to German. As World War I breaks out, Von Ketz’s son Emil asks Margarete to marry him, but she disappears on her wedding night. Nothing can be done at the time, but after the Ingrid is determined to discover what happened to her sister.
These Dividing Walls (Hodder & Stoughton/ Jonathan Ball
A grieving Edward lives in England, but has to get away, have a break. And so his friend Emilie offers him the use of her one-roomed Paris apartment, an apartment in a building far back on the Left Bank, set in a warren of quiet streets. This, says the shout on the cover, is not the Paris you know. Behind the building’s large turquoise door are five floors, and many people live there, the woman who runs the bookshop downstairs, the man who feeds the sparrows on his windowsill, the young mother. But although they can hear each other and often see each other on the stairs and in the courtyard, the people of No 37 keep to themselves. And as the summer heat builds, so do the tensions among the residents.