Of a friend, girlfriend and the storm

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New Delhi–Flick through a crime thriller that explores how a woman’s blind trust in her friend leads to the tragic accident of her son; read the story of a woman, perfect as a girlfriend, trying to get a guy back into her life; skim through a complex tale, featuring many ways in which families love, betray, honour and sacrifice for one another; and know how women can identify self-defeating behaviour that holds them back.

The IANS bookshelf has all this on offer this weekend.

1. Book: The Friend; Author: Teresa Driscoll; Publisher: Thomas and Mercer/Westland; Pages: 292; Price: Rs 399
On a train with her husband, miles from home and their four-year-old son, Ben, Sophie receives a phone call. Two boys are in hospital after a tragic accident. One of them is Ben.

She thought she could trust Emma, her new friend, to look after her little boy. After all, Emma is a kindred spirit, someone Sophie was sure she could bare her soul to, despite the village rumours. But Sophie can’t shake the feeling that she has made an unforgivable mistake and now her whole family is in danger.

Because how well does she know Emma, really? Should she have trusted her at all? Time is running out. Powerless to help her child, still hours from home, Sophie is about to discover the truth. And her life will never be the same.

Author Teresa Driscoll is a former BBC TV news presenter. Having covered crime for long, she was deeply moved by the haunting impact on relatives, friends and witnesses and it is those ripples, she explores now in dark fiction.

2. Book: The Perfect Girlfriend; Author: Karen Hamilton; Publisher: Wildfire Books/Hachette India; Pages: 358; Price: Rs 399
Juliette loves Nate. She will follow him anywhere. She has even become a flight attendant for his airline, so she can keep a closer eye on him. They are meant to be.

The fact that Nate broke up with her six months ago means nothing. Because Juliette has a plan to get him back. She is the perfect girlfriend. And she’ll make sure no one stops her from getting exactly what she wants. True love hurts, but Juliette knows it’s worth all the pain. Read this book to know where her qualities eventually land her.

The author is a recent graduate of the Faber Academy and, having now put down roots in Hampshire to raise her young family with her husband, she satisfies her wanderlust by exploring the world through her writing. “The Perfect Girlfriend” is her first novel.

3. Book: The Storm; Author: Arif Anwar; Publisher: Aleph; Pages: 348; Price: Rs 599
Shahryar, a recent PhD graduate and father of nine-year-old Anna, must leave the US when his visa expires. In their last remaining weeks together, we learn Shahryar’s history, in a village on the Bay of Bengal, where a poor fisherman and his wife are preparing to face a storm of historic proportions.

That story intersects with those of a Japanese pilot, a British doctor stationed in Burma during World War II, and a privileged couple in Calcutta who leave everything behind to move to East Pakistan following the partition.

Inspired by the 1970 Bhola cyclone, in which half a million-people perished overnight, the structure of this novel mimics the storm itself. Building up to a series of revelatory and moving climaxes, it shows the many ways in which families love, betray, honour and sacrifice for one another.

4. Book: How Women Rise; Author: Sally Helgesen and Marshall Goldsmith; Publisher: Penguin; Pages: 242; Price: Rs 494
Do you hesitate about putting forward ideas? Are you reluctant to claim credit for your achievements? Do you find it difficult to get the support you need from your boss or the recognition you deserve from your colleagues? If your answer to any of these is “Yes”, then “How Women Rise” will help get you back on track. Inspiring and practical by turns, it identifies 12 common habits that can prove an obstacle to future success and tells you how to overcome them.

In the process, it points the way to a career that will satisfy your ambitions and help you make the difference you want to make in the world.

How women rise is a great read for any woman who wants to identify self-defeating behaviours that are holding her back, gain insight into why she engages in those behaviours and develop skills to confidently achieve her goals. (IANS)

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