We're having the kitchen renovated, you see. Each excuse seemed to vary in solemnity, but Harry and Niall could never protest without being aware of the deeper reason. Harry was dying to just grill Liam about it, question him and coax out the true reason, but he always left it. He didn't want to put Liam on the spot, so he let the excuses slide. He knew how badly Harry wanted to see his house and meet his parents, but he wanted to see how badly. You really think that idiot is ill? He's just at home playing Fifa!
The bell above the door tolled, their first customer in way too long, so Liam sprung into his customer service spirit and approached the till to serve them. He twisted around, his face full of fabricated vexation, trying to keep his smile from breaking through the professional front he had on. It turns out Niall wasn't ill at all - surprise, surprise - and jumped at the opportunity to finally see Liam's house.
This was an absolute revelation. Ed released Harry and Liam when he had locked up the bakery, once the clock had finally dragged it out to 4pm, and luckily Harry had brought a change of clothes which he had slipped into before closing, so he was wearing black skinny jeans and a plain white t-shirt, opposed to baggy, black, flour-coated trousers and a tacky polo shirt.
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They jumped in Liam's car, which was parked at the side of the road, and got settled before venturing off to pick Niall up. He was, surprisingly, on time, and waiting on the corner of the street as instructed. He grinned widely as he approached the parked car, jumping into the back seat and slamming the door behind him. Harry laughed and rolled his eyes, resting his feet up on the dashboard of Liam's car, before being scolded by the latter and told he would 'leave muddy foot marks. Liam brought the car to a halt at the red light, looking out of the window on his right to avoid meeting eyes with Harry, or with Niall via the rearview mirror.
We've known you over two years, Liam! Niall was brightly laughing in the back seat, his face buried into the back of Harry's headrest, seeming to find this absolutely hilarious. But then again, he found everything absolutely hilarious. I like to just pretend he doesn't exist. Harry watched out of the windscreen ahead as they had entered the area of the village that he didn't fully recognise.
The houses looked modern and bright, built in a linear layout, each side of the road. Younger I'm guessing. Niall's fit of laughter resumed, smacking his knee, causing Harry to wrinkle his nose up and wonder why he found everything about life so very funny. He would love to live a day in the life of Niall Horan, it would be effortless.
So Liam's brother was three years older than them, yet he was apparently too repulsive to unleash his friends around. Liam pulled up to a semi-detached house at the end of the road, which was of average size, brown-bricked and normal. There was a hanging basket with bright red flowers hung by the front door, a welcome mat lay down, and it looked very nice.
There were white pebbles scattered throughout the drive, with some paving slabs leading up to the entrance itself.
The three of them jumped out of Liam's car and he locked it behind them, leading them to the front door with the delightful sound effect of crunching pebbles beneath their feet. Liam dug in his pocket for a key, retrieving it and sticking it in the lock, opening up the house and allowing his friends to step in, before shutting the door again behind them. The house was delightfully warm and cosy, with a scent of vanilla hanging in the air. The hallway they stood in consisted of light oak flooring, with a grey rug perfectly positioned in the centre. There was a staircase on the left, what looked like the kitchen straight ahead, and a door to the living room on the right.
It was immaculately tidy, with artsy photo frames littered up the wall beside the ascending stairs. The only single thing that seemed to stand out from the tidiness was a scruffy pair of black and white Old Skool Vans, which looked to have been carelessly kicked off and discarded by the stairs. Liam's eyes were trained on the shoes, and his expression had changed slightly. Harry used one hand on Niall's shoulder to balance himself as he lifted one foot, unzipping one of his boots and shaking it off of his foot, followed by the other, before placing them down neatly beside the tattered Vans.
Niall and Liam did the same with their trainers, before Liam hurried ahead to the kitchen, scoping it out momentarily to make sure it was sibling-free, before gesturing for his two friends to follow him inside. The kitchen was very modern and spacious, so much so that their voices echoed slightly off the walls. Harry and Niall jumped up onto the bar stools in front of where the kitchen counter branched off into a table, while Liam searched the fridge for something they could all drink.
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They both agreed, and Liam pulled out a carton and three tall glasses from the cupboard, filling them all up before handing them out to his mates, who thanked him appreciatively. There was a brief silence while they drank, and Niall was the first to fill it. Harry was looking around for any family photos hung up, unable to spot any around, curious to know whether Liam's brother looked like him at all.
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He loved picking out facial similarities between siblings. Harry's eyes scanned the photos on the left of the stairs as they climbed up, but they were simply artful pictures, not family-orientated ones. Liam opened the second door on the left, welcoming his friends inside. The room was small and box-shaped, just the right size to be cosy but not cramped.
Harry took a seat on the edge of Liam's made bed, tapping his feet nonchalantly on the carpeted floor. Liam's house was very orderly, especially his bedroom, which was very different to Harry's pigsty of a room at his house. It's alright, I guess. Harry hummed in thought, nodding. Well, it was a name, obviously. But I'm sure you've been playing it all day, Niall, right? They all made the unanimous decision to head back down the stairs, going straight ahead in the hallway and into the white-sofad, cream-carpeted living room. There was a large television stood on a glass stand on the left of the room.
Liam shut the door from the hallway, and Harry hurried to get the corner seat of the sofa, it being his favourite, so Niall childishly protested. As the sofa was an 'L' shape, and Harry was in the corner with his two friends to his left, it meant he had an entire section of sofa in front of him on which he could lay his long legs. The film started, and now was when Harry realised that he really didn't want to watch an entire movie right now. He couldn't protest though, knowing how indecisive he would look, so he shut up and tried to engage himself in the fast-paced opening scene as it began.
He wasn't at all interested in it, having seen this film countless times and knowing the plot like the back of his hand, whereas Niall and Liam seemed enticed by it. He took his time to become familiar with the comfortable room instead, still unable to believe they were finally in Liam's house. Harry could hear footsteps from in the hallway, the sound of somebody coming down the stairs, but Liam and Niall didn't seem bothered, as their attention was wholly captivated by the film.
A moment later, however, the living room door flew open. The three boys whipped their head round to look towards the doorway, and Harry felt like his heart temporarily stopped pumping blood through his veins. His eyes were frozen on the individual in the doorway, and he couldn't rip them away if he tried.
The man stood in the doorway was probably around 5'9" in height, dressed down in slim-fit jogging bottoms and a too-tight grey t-shirt. He had playful tattoos scattered up his right arm, which held open the door. You can form your own view. Subscribe now. Shape Created with Sketch. The 25 best books by women Show all Pride and Prejudice, then, sees her at the peak of her powers. Through the eyes of Elizabeth Bennet, her sharp-witted protagonist, we witness upper-class Regency England as both a dream and a farce. Not all is as it seems, and society betrays its holloweness when it deems that money should trump love.
Despite the fact that Hurston was a key figure in the Harlem Renaissance of the s and s, Their Eyes Were Watching God was largely rejected by her peers. It was during the s and s that her novel was essentially rediscovered, with many contemporary black feminists heralding the genius of her work. The novel focuses on Janie Crawford, a black woman who refuses to give in to bitterness or sorrow, as she navigates three marriages and a life marked by poverty.
With several novels and over short stories for readers to get lost in, there are very few horror writers like her. Its depiction of racial injustice in the American Deep South was startling frank for the s, in a way that undeniably had a social impact at the time — it became an instant sensation and is now widely taught in American schools. Butler was a key figure in sci-fi history, expanding the boundaries of what the genre could achieve and what it could come to represent.
First published in , the book still feels as fresh as ever in its first-person account of a young black writer, Dana, who through strange circumstances, finds herself travelling between her own reality and a pre-Civil War Maryland plantation. Jane Eyre feels, in many ways, thoroughly modern today. Adichie, who was born in Nigeria, is considered one of the most original literary voices of her generation. You can see why this is when reading Half of a Yellow Sun, which depicts the brutality of the Nigerian Civil War of the late s, as seen through four different perspectives: twin daughters of a wealthy businessman, a British citizen, a professor, and a houseboy.
Smith remains a modern titan of the British literary scene, thanks partially to White Teeth, which is considered one of the most sensational fiction debuts of all time, becoming an immediate bestseller and sweeping up multiple awards.
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Their return to London sees the book examine British post-war attitudes to those from formerly colonised countries, although Smith ensures the subject is approached with both heart and a sense of humour. Lispector was a literary innovator. The novel largely follows the inner thoughts of two characters, Clarissa Dalloway and Septimus Smith, one a high-society woman in post-WWI England and the other a veteran suffering from shell shock. Her unsentimental, sardonic use of the Southern Gothic style helped weave her own take on the parable, in which the morally weak often face violent, painful punishment for their misdeeds.
At times, it seems less like Persepolis is a story. Beloved takes its inspiration from the true story of Margaret Garner, who escaped slavery in Kentucky in and fled to Ohio, a free state. However, the story itself focuses on a protagonist named Sethe, a former slave, whose home is haunted by a malevolent presence that she believes is her eldest daughter. Her book, which imagines a near-future New England controlled by a totalitarian state, in which women are completely subjugated to men, has only become increasingly relevant — and prescient.
And so, instead, it was published in eight instalments across and under the name George Eliot. The book is far from light; set in the fictitious Midlands town of Middlemarch, it follows a vast, sweeping narrative that encompasses subjects of religion, idealism, and political reform. Ferrante serves as a pseudonym, allowing the books to illuminate with candor the friendship between two women, born in Naples in , who try to find peace in a world of violence and misogyny. Marking a rare mastery of the epistolary novel, The Color Purple focuses on the experiences of black women living in the US South during the s.
Murder on the Orient Express still feels like her most enthralling work, as famed Belgian detective Hercule Poirot finds himself in the midst of a murder scene, after his train is blocked by the heavy snowfall and a passenger is found dead, making the rest of those on board all instant suspects. The oldest book on this list, this classic of Japanese literature was written by Shikibu, a noblewoman and lady-in-waiting, in the early 11th century.
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Create a commenting name to join the debate Submit. Please try again, the name must be unique. Loading comments Post Cancel. There are no Independent Minds comments yet - be the first to add your thoughts. Follow comments Enter your email to follow new comments on this article. Thanks for subscribing! Northwest Angle is one of his best. When the Department of Energy puts an underground iron mine on its short list of potential sites for storage of nuclear waste, a barrage of protest erupts in Tamarack County, Minnesota, and Cork is hired as a security consultant.
Deep in the mine during his first day on the job, Cork stumbles across a secret room that contains the remains of six murder victims. But the sixth has been dead less than a week. Highly recommended. Krueger hits the sweet spot every time. His stories are works of art, literary wonders that beautifully capture a sense of place while they deliver a powerful emotional punch.
But drawn into committing the darkest of deeds himself, Cork is forced to confront an awful truth: Violence is a hunger in every human heart….
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Happy and content in his hometown of Aurora, Minnesota, he has left his badge behind and is ready for a life of relative peace, setting up shop as a private investigator. With little to go on, Cork uses his investigative skills to locate Henry Wellington, a wealthy and reclusive industrialist living in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
But why would Wellington want his father dead? Steeped in place, sweetly melancholic in tone, it braids together multiple stories about love, loss and family. The result is a wholly satisfying novel that is over almost too soon. Anthony Award. Desperate, he finds sanctuary outside a small town called Bodine on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan in an old resort owned by his cousin, Jewell DuBois.
But being a father figure to Ren will prove more difficult than Cork could possibly imagine…. William Kent Krueger may just be the best pure suspense novelist working today. The beauty of the uninhabited woods and the lake—they are all part of the mysterious aura surrounding the novel. As in his previous novels, the author deftly presents the reader with wonderfully drawn, intensely believable characters. We care about them and about what happens to them… Krueger writes most extraordinary books. Crime and complex family dynamics combine to create a novel that will keep the reader guessing through the final pages of the tale.
Not just for fans of the series, the novel is a smart and satisfying mystery on its own.
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Krueger manages all this with aplomb, creating sympathetic characters, building the suspense and making it believable. Some he knows all too well—small-town bigotry and bureaucracy foremost among them. And when Solemn reappears, claiming to have seen a vision of Jesus Christ in Blood Hollow, the mystery becomes thornier than Cork could ever have anticipated. Krueger has moved to the head of the crime fiction class with this one. An escaped mental patient targets the First Lady of the United States for assassination.
The only thing that stands between the First Lady and certain death is the Secret Service agent who loves her…. Impressive characterizations and a tricky plot with many twists and turns make this another winner… Highly recommended. An explosion at a lumber mill rips the heart right out of a beautiful summer morning and kills the traditional chief of the Iron Lake Ojibwe. Many in Tamarack County blame the Ojibwe who are trying to save a stand of sacred white pines from being logged. The Ojibwe blame the greed of Karl Lindstrom, the man who owns the mill.
As tensions mount, and Cork desperately tears at layers of deceit, he begins to understand that the real prey may be the people loves most and that their greatest enemy is time.