Best Books of the Moment

The Best Books of the Moment

So many books, so little time… We, the digital booksellers of 24symbols, are set on helping you make the best of your time. This is why each week we present you a book that has caught our special attention. This may be a book that everybody is talking about, the debut novel from an author one should look out for or a hidden gem that we were lucky enough to bring to light. Check out the best books of the moment and find your next read. We made sure to include something for everyone’s taste:

An Apology in Bloom

Suzanne Woods Fisher

If you are looking for a delightful romance, this is charming little book is sure to brighten your day!

Meet Jaime, living out her dream as a flower designer for New York’s elite weddings. But with high-maintenance clients draining her energy and her boss Liam not fully recognizing her talent, things aren’t as rosy as they seem. Sparks fly between Jaime and Liam, but will their budding romance bloom despite the challenges?

Join us in this charming novella as we root for Jaime and Liam’s love to flourish against the backdrop of the big city. With a promising series on the horizon, we’re already counting down the days until the next installment! Trust us, you won’t want to miss out on this heartwarming tale!

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The Ministry of Pain 

Dubravka Ugrešic

In THE MININSTRY OF PAIN, Dubravka Ugrešic offers a poignant exploration of the aftermath of war and the experience of exile. Through the eyes of the protagonist, Tanja Lucic, a Croatian teacher who finds herself teaching immigrant students in Amsterdam, Ugrešic delves into themes of displacement, loss, and the lingering impact of conflict on individuals and communities. The novel deftly navigates the complexities of identity and belonging, as Tanja grapples with her own sense of self amidst the chaos of war-torn Yugoslavia and the challenges of adapting to life in a foreign land.

Ugrešic’s prose is both haunting and mesmerizing, capturing the essence of her characters’ struggles with a raw honesty that resonates long after the final page. Through Tanja’s journey, readers are confronted with the harsh realities of war and the banality of evil that persist in the fabric of society, despite our fervent promises to never allow the unspeakable horrors of war to repeat themselves.

When Ugrešic passed away last year, the world lost one of its most vital voices against war. Her work remains as crucial today as ever.

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The Runaway Heiress

Emma Orchard

An addictive Regency romance that will keep you turning pages until the very end!

While Cassandra may find herself fleeing from an unwanted fate, she’s far from the typical damsel in distress. Orchard skillfully crafts her as a heroine armed with quick wit and boundless courage, making her journey one of resilience and self-discovery. And when she crosses paths with the charming Lord Irlam, their undeniable chemistry sets the stage for a thrilling “will they – won’t they” romance that keeps you eagerly turning pages. With each encounter, the tension between them ignites, drawing readers into a world of passion and intrigue. For fans of Georgette Heyer and enthusiasts of Regency romance, this novel is a true gem that promises to sweep you off your feet.

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Jessica Mills

ROSALIND by Jessica Mills is an absolute rollercoaster of feminist empowerment and scientific brilliance. Mills breathes life into the (almost) forgotten pages of history, giving Rosalind Franklin the recognition she deserved during her lifetime. In this gripping historical fiction, we witness Rosalind’s journey as a fierce and determined woman who defied the sexism and misogyny of her time to achieve scientific greatness.

The narrative skillfully delves into Rosalind’s struggles, not just as a scientist but as a woman fighting against an oppressive system. Mills vividly portrays the challenges Rosalind faced, from her own father discouraging her scientific ambitions to male colleagues stealing credit for her groundbreaking work. The book ignites a flame of feminist rage while celebrating Rosalind’s unyielding spirit. The first-rate scientist serves as a true inspiration for women today, reminding us of the importance of believing in oneself and persisting in the face of adversity. In a world that often silenced women’s voices, this book is a powerful tribute to a remarkable woman who changed the course of science but was denied the recognition she deserved.

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Cursed Bunny

Bora Chung

Being a human is messy. Being a woman even more so. The Korean writer Bora Chung explores this messiness in ten surreal short stories, many of them revolving around the theme of womanhood and femininity. It is these stories, especially THE HEAD and THE EMBODIMENT, that stand out most.

Chung does not shy away from giving our bodily fluids, menstruation and excrements, a proper voice – literally. The women in these stories are burdened with guilt and shame, their only sin being their gender. Lucky for them, redemption is offered by man. Matchmakers offer suitable husbands to start a family and thus give reason for the women’s existence. By taking the patriarchic system to the absurd, Chung reveals the existing horror of gender discrimination. An unsettling and provocative read that lingers.

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A Dance With Murder

Elizabeth Coleman

If a crime novel starts with the PI being rescued from a creepy Tinder date by her miniature schnauzer called Miss Marple pretending a serious injury, you just know that you are in for a brilliant read.

Private Investigator Ted’s life is in shambles. Her latest case involves tracking down the stalker of ballerina Giselle Tereiti, whose ex-husband Spike happens to be Ted’s new love. As if that was no’t enough, Spike himself is a homicide detective who suddenly finds himself the main suspect for a murder case that Ted is also investigating.

In A DANCE WITH MURDER, Elizabeth Coleman offers all the ingredients a cozy crime novel needs. A strong heroine that you can relate to, back-stabbing colleagues, witty dialogues, a touch of romance and of course Miss Marple, this clever little dog that steals the show from all human characters. Prepare yourself for an addictive read!

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Paradise Undone 

Annie Dawid

The Jonestown mass murder-suicide has gone down in US history as the massacre with most civilian deaths in the 20th century. Cult leader Jim Jones established the People’s Temple, an agricultural project aiming to overcome economic, racial and social differences.

In contrast to typical documentaries that focus predominantly on Jim Jones, Dawid takes a unique approach by shifting the spotlight to four individuals within the cult. These characters, a blend of real and fictional figures, provide a nuanced perspective from the inside of this tragic chapter in American history. Rather than reducing cult members to mere lunatics blindly following a charismatic yet delusional leader, Dawid grants them individual narratives, thus humanizing their experiences.

Another great achievement of PARADISE UNDONE lies in its exploration of the enduring impact of Jones on the lives of those who managed to escape the forced mass suicide. Furthermore, the novel skillfully places the massacre within a contemporary context of society’s enduring fascination with cults and the allure of death as a perceived pathway to ultimate redemption. Dawid’s work not only memorializes the tragic events but also prompts reflection on the broader themes of human vulnerability and the enduring allure of extreme ideologies.

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Julia Monroe Begins Again

Rebekah Millet

Are you looking for a book date for Valentine’s Day? Then we have got the perfect book for you! Charming, heartfelt and brimming with lively dialogues, JULIA MONROE BEGINS AGAIN explores love in middle age, second chances and the power of forgiveness.

Julia Monroe, a widow with two grown sons now off to college, finds herself at the ripe age of forty, having been single for a decade. With no intentions of reentering the dating arena or falling in love again. No sir, she is done with that and is looking forward to finally putting herself first. But then Samuel, the first (and arguably worst) love of her life, steps back into her world and shakes her vow to abstain from romance. Plus, her loyal friend Kate thinks that she should give love another try.

Will Julia be able to overcome the pain that Samuel has caused her in the past? Or is this maybe the perfect time to venture into a business idea that she has not yet had the courage to put into practice? A poignant novel that explores love, personal growth, and the courage to embrace new beginnings.

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Susan Sontag – The Complete Rolling Stone Interview

Jonathan Scott

Susan Sontag (1933-2004) was undoubtedly one of the most legendary figures on the late 20th-century literary scene. Dubbed the “Dark Lady of American Literature” by literary critic Norman Podhoretz, Sontag, an essayist, novelist, playwright, filmmaker, and political activist, became famous for her reflective, analytical style and quick wit. Her commitment to portraying reality without the distractions of metaphors or interpretation garnered both veneration and disdain. Stripping her texts of emotions was deemed sharp-minded, lucid or brilliant by ones and perceived as insensitive, aggressive or distant by others.

In the complete Rolling Stone interview conducted in 1978, Jonathan Scott engages in an all-embracing conversation with Sontag about her work, her continuous efforts to challenge persistent stereotypes such as male/female or young/old, and her insistence on aesthetics. Besides serving as a significant documentation of the spirit of the time, the interview also reveals a more personal, albeit consistently self-reflective and considered, side of Sontag—a genuine gift for all her admirers.

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Orlando (stage version)

based on the novel by Virginia Woolf, adapted for the stage by Neil Bartlett

We usually do not review theater plays but this adaption of Virginia Woolf’s ORLANDO has set our heart on fire! By reducing the work to its essential parts, Bartlett offers a simplified version of Woolf’s iconic novel without sacrificing any of its complexity. In fact, he includes the author herself (in fact he presents various Virginias to highlight her multiple identities) in the play, assuming the role of the omniscient (although hesitant) narrator. The presence of different Virginia’s on stage allows him to draw attention to the process of writing and creating itself. We witness how she takes notes, engages in debates about Orlando’s development and crumbles pages with frustration.

Another brilliant twist is Bartlett’s use of the housekeeper Mrs. Grimsditch, who forms the only constant in this turbulent narrative of continuous change. While Orlando lives through five different centuries, changes gender and convictions, Mrs. Grimsditch serves as a grounding force, reminding us of time and place whenever necessary. Even though Bartlett’s ORLANDO can be read without any prior knowledge of the original, we do recommend you to read Virginia Woolf’s version first to fully appreciate this mind-blowing work of fiction, written almost 100 years ago yet feeling absolutely cutting-edge. A truly elevating read!

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The Conjuror’s Apprentice 

G J Williams

Williams surprises with a stunning debut that deserves your full attention. A fascinating historical crime novel set in Tudor England, where political intrigue and dark secrets threaten to unravel the dynasty. The story follows Dr. John Dee and his apprentice, Margaretta, as they try to solve a brutal murder that implicates Princess Elizabeth. As the bodies pile up, the duo uncovers a web of deceit and treachery, facing a looming threat of witchcraft accusations and political turmoil.

The narrative is cleverly written with endearing characters, notably Margaretta, a woman with supernatural powers, dedicated to justice in a time when personal lives take a back seat. The inclusion of real historical figures like Dr. John Dee adds depth to the story, while Margaretta’s paranormal abilities infuse a sense of mystique.

Filled with murder, twists and historical intricacies, THE CONJUROR’S APPRENTICE stands out for its atmospheric portrayal of Tudor England, capturing the essence of the era’s fear and conspiracies and sets the stage for a promising new series. We cannot wait to continue this thrilling journey into the dark and dangerous secrets of Tudor England and hope that the second installment of THE TUDOR ROSE MURDERS will be released soon.

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The Seamstress of Acadie

Laura Frantz

Laura Frantz has crafted yet another spellbinding historical novel that sheds light on a part of history that most know very little about, a story that educates and moves without being overbearing.

In 1755, the British and French fight over Canada’s Acadian shore (present-day Nova Scotia), while the Acadians declare themselves neutral. Seamstress Sylvie Galant finds herself entangled in the political strife as her family’s land becomes a battleground. Frantz’s prose is nothing short of enchanting, bringing to life the beauty of Acadie and the emotional complexity of its inhabitants.

The characters, especially Sylvie, are skillfully crafted and resilient. Sylvie’s strength and bravery shine through as she navigates the challenges of war, displacement, and loss. The slow-burning romance between Sylvie and William Blackburn adds a poignant layer to the narrative, with Frantz masterfully balancing historical details and the characters’ personal journeys. The historical richness of the novel, including the use of the French language and vivid descriptions of the locations, immerses readers in the world of Acadie.

Frantz’s storytelling abilities are once again on full display, delivering a narrative that is both heart-wrenching and hopeful. THE SEAMSTRESS OF ACADIE is a testament to Frantz’s ability to craft tales that resonate with readers, combining history, romance, adventure, danger, and faith seamlessly. Plus, the story holds a little surprise for those who are familiar with Frantz’ previous novels. If you are looking for a beautifully written historical novel with a perfect blend of elements, this is a must-read.

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Deep in the Forest

Erina Reddan

From the very beginning, DEEP IN THE FOREST envelops you with an eerie feeling. The story revolves around Charli Trenthan, a young woman, who finds herself at the center of a small town’s blame game following a devastating bushfire, while mourning her mother’s death. Living with her dog in a forest cabin in the outskirts of town, Charli is an easy target for the raging, testosterone-fuelled town youth that seeks revenge for the damages the fire caused.

Keen to leave her hostile environment, Charli suddenly changes plans when she receives a secretive call for help from a person living in a renown sanctuary close-by. She decides to look behind the curtain of the apparent impeccable but very reclusive rehabilitation center. Soon she realizes that there is something odd going on and, with the help of her feisty friends, she reveals one secret darker than the other, putting her once again in the middle of a public storm.

Like a gentle breeze igniting a spark, ‘Deep in the Forest’ starts with subtle hints of intrigue and wrongdoing, only to gradually fan into a roaring wildfire of suspense, consuming the pages with an intensity that keeps you captivated until the very end.

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The Bostonians

Henry James

The festive season offers the perfect occasion to explore literary classics that often get overlooked amidst our busy lives. Set in 19th-century Boston, THE BOSTONIANS by Henry James takes us on a captivating journey into the beginnings of the feminist movement and societal expectations in the United States of America.

James’ narrative skillfully intertwines a story that, despite its historical context, addresses some remarkable modern ideals. The central plot revolves around Boston feminist Olive, her conservative cousin Ransom, and Verena, a captivating young woman blessed with a remarkable gift for public speaking, who has taken a keen interest in the feminist cause. Upon meeting Verena, Ransom immediately falls under her spell and even though he is a poor Southerner who cannot offer her the same comforts as her Northern admirers, he does everything in his power to win her heart. Meanwhile, Olive takes Verena under her wing, in order for her to be the face of feminism in the USA.

In the spirit of the season, we encourage fellow readers to embrace the holiday break as an opportunity to rediscover this heavenly ironic literary gem. When liberals are discarded as “vegetarians” or “the truth [changes] sides”, one cannot help but wonder if today’s times are really as modern as we think… THE BOSTONIANS not only provides a captivating narrative but also invites reflection on the societal shifts that have shaped our present and the ongoing journey toward equality.

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A Winter by the Sea

Julie Klassen

It is no secret that Julie Klassen is one of our all-time favorites when it comes to historical romance. No one captures the customs, manners, and social convictions of the early 19th century quite like she does, while delivering dynamic dialogues and examining the dilemma between the heart and the mind.

A WINTER BY THE SEA is the second installment of Klassen’s new book series, ON DEVONSHIRE SHORES, and even though we recommend you start with the first book of the series, THE SISTERS OF SEA VIEW, it can be perfectly read as a stand-alone. The Summers sisters run a guest house in an idyllic English coastal village to make ends meet after their father’s death – a perfect setting for tender romance between the sisters and their lodgers. However, this would not be a Klassen novel if the story only focused on the lovers’ courtship. While romance clearly is a driving force behind the story, it never overpowers the narrative, and Klassen makes sure to sprinkle the plot with historical details and curiosities. Of course, we were especially delighted to find that Emily’s literary ambitions made up another major part of the novel – a real treat for all romantics and book lovers!

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The Weatherman

Royston Reeves

In his latest thriller, crime fiction writer Royston Reeves takes a refreshing twist on the genre, revealing the perpetrator and crime from the very beginning. The novel unfolds from Will’s perspective, starting with his bewildered confession of having unintentionally killed a complete stranger with a single punch in a deserted alley. Tension arises from a twisted cat-and-mouse game—not only between the police and the assailant but also between the accidental murderer and the only witness of the crime.

Told from Will’s point of view, the novel explores his anxiety issues and fear of being found out. The reader is tempted to take Will’s side, but the fatal consequences of his punch cannot be overlooked, especially as the police are pursuing another man and Will is trying to pretend that nothing has happened. The author delves deep into Will’s conscience and the question of responsibility. Is it possible to go on with your life if you have taken another man’s life, even if you didn’t mean to? Things get really complicated when it turns out that there was a witness. Can Will stay in control of his future? Or is his destiny in the hands of yet another stranger? A real page-turner with many unexpected twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat!

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Second Time Around

Melody Carlson

Melody Carlson’s latest novel follows Mallory Farrell’s journey of reinvention as an empty nester who inherits her grandmother’s shop in Seaport, Oregon. Despite contemplating selling the property, Mallory’s plans shift when she discovers that the potential buyer, her former crush Grayson Matthews, intends to turn the charming town into a less-than-charming redevelopment project. Intrigued by the prospect of managing her own home décor shop in the tourist town, Mallory embraces the challenge of starting anew in a place where she’s a virtual stranger. The novel beautifully captures her newfound motivation as she revives the run-down shop into an eclectic home décor haven.

Amidst the small-town charm, Mallory’s story takes an unexpected twist when she is invited to participate in a TV show featuring not only her fabulous shop but also her neglected apartment. Initially on the verge of giving up, Mallory finds unexpected support from Grayson, challenging her perceptions of him. While romance enriches the narrative, SECOND TIME AROUND primarily delves into Mallory’s journey of self-discovery, portraying her as a woman defined not by romantic entanglements but by her resilience in embracing change. Melody Carlson masterfully crafts a compelling tale that transcends traditional romance, inviting readers to witness Mallory’s reinvention and relish the unpredictable joys of life in a quaint town.

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The Warsaw Sisters

Amanda Barratt

A gripping World War II novel that delves into the compelling stories of sisters Antonina and Helena with meticulous attention to historical detail. Amanda Barratt’s dedication to thorough research shines through, as she carefully reconstructs the war-torn landscape of Warsaw in 1939. The author’s keen eye for detail breathes life into the characters, granting each sister a distinctive voice that resonates throughout the narrative.

Both sisters, integral parts of the Polish resistance, harbor hidden acts of courage unknown to the other. As the plot unfolds against the backdrop of war, the strain of secrecy becomes a central theme, threatening the close bond Antonina and Helena share. The emotional complexity of their relationship adds a captivating subplot that enhances the broader historical narrative.

THE WARSAW SISTERS clearly stands as a triumph in historical fiction, offering not only a rich educational experience but also a deeply emotional journey. It serves as a testament to the indomitable human spirit, capturing the bonds of courage and sacrifice that endure in the darkest chapters of history.

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The Naming of Moths

Tracy Fells

With 18 spellbinding tales that provoke and resonate, this collection truly embodies the charm of the short story genre. Through a fairytalesque lens, Fells masterfully explores the shadowy, twisted facets of humanity. Each story, whether it describes murder, identity-theft or witchcraft, serves as a metaphorical exploration of profound themes such as womanhood and self-fulfillment.

The texts invite readers to peer beneath the surface and consider the motivations for the characters’ actions. This deeper contemplation turns each of the narratives into a thought-provoking journey that lingers in the reader’s mind long after the final page is turned. As the stories unfold, a subtle yet powerful resonance emerges, showcasing the special ability of the short story to convey meaning beyond the obvious. In the end we all have to ask ourselves about the demons that we carry inside.

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Far Creek Road

Lesley Krueger

Krueger’s latest novel takes readers on a rollercoaster ride through McCarthy-era paranoia, the Cuban Missile Crisis and suburban hypocrisy in 1960s Canada. Through the eyes of the 9-year-old Tink, Krueger skillfully exposes the conflicts and secrets simmering beneath the seemingly serene surface of a Vancouver suburb.

The Horton’s are new in town and their leftist views are a thorn in many people’s eyes. Tink’s friendship with their son, Norman, unwittingly makes her a witness to a personally motivated defamation campaign against the Hortons, taking its toll on the children. Tink’s innocent yet keen perspective adds a special charm to the novel. Her character is cheeky, curious, observant and reflective, offering readers a refreshing lens to observe unfolding events.

Another highlight lies in the stark contrast between Tink’s open-minded innocence and the adults’ secrecy. As Tink navigates the complexities of loyalty, friendship and the consequences of choice, her childhood innocence abruptly comes to an end. The result is a powerful and thought-provoking read that weaves together historical tensions and personal struggles in a compelling narrative.

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Dracula’s Guest

Bram Stoker

Discover the missing piece of the puzzle in the world of Gothic horror with Bram Stoker’s DRACULA’S GUEST, published 17 years after his iconic masterpiece, DRACULA.

The novella is believed to be the intended first chapter of DRACULA and will take you on an eerie journey with Jonathan Harker. Witness for yourself how the threshold between the living and the undead starts to blur in this spine-chilling story. What better way to celebrate the spooky season? Just make sure to lock your doors and dim the lights!

Bram Stoker’s masterful storytelling, rich in atmosphere and suspense, will transport you to a world where superstitions, folklore, and ancient evil intertwine.

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When the Filter Fades

Janine Jellars

At first glance, WHEN THE FILTER FADES by Janine Jellars might strike you as a lighthearted, superficial novel about the fictional rich and famous. However, the author delves deep into the ecosystem of fame, peering behind the scenes of filtered Instagram posts and polished media statements.

The novel centers on the lives of three magnificent women. Lin is a rising star among fashion influencers, Lebo a once-celebrated actress and singer who has fallen from grace and Mbali a sharp journalist with an instinct for turning gossip into profit. As their paths repeatedly cross, we learn about their struggles to maintain the spotlight without compromising their moral compass—a near-impossible battle that inevitably leads to jealousy, intrigue, and scandal.

Clearly Jellars knows the world she is writing about. Her insights into the art of crafting a personal brand are as delightful as they are appalling. This book offers a perfect combination of genuinely endearing characters, a compelling storyline and a narrative style that makes you feel like you are talking to your best friend.

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The Girl Who Cried Diamonds & Other Stories

Rebecca Hirsch Garcia

Rebecca Hirsch Garcia’s captivating collection of short stories is bound to leave you breathless. Within these 14 tales, she weaves a tapestry of dark and intense narratives that feature protagonists whose lives are marked by edginess and raw emotion, as they grapple with distressing situations. Garcia fearlessly delves into a wide array of topics, from grief and eating disorders to stalking and drug abuse, and much more.

What sets Garcia apart is her unique ability to dissect the omnipresent troubles of real life through a keen focus on the human body, showcasing the profound unease of her characters. For instance, one story unfolds as a woman’s body slowly ceases to function after the loss of her father, while another sees a woman transform into a cloud in a desperate attempt to escape her stifling life as a wife and mother.

It’s in this blending of the fantastic with the stark reality that Garcia’s characters find solace. The ethereal elements allow them to transcend the confines of their physical bodies, softening the edges of their sometimes brutal experiences and infusing the tales with a touch of magic.

Rebecca Hirsch Garcia is definitively an author worth keeping an eye on.

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The Brink

Jamie Fewery

This is NOT your everyday love story! Starting with the first day of Dan and Anya’s divorce mediation, their tale is told in reverse. Through flashbacks and varied perspectives, we unravel how they met, fell in love, and built a family. We observe how routine gradually eclipsed the spark in their relationship, how they sought adventure outside of their marriage, and how life threw unexpected obstacles in their path.

Jamie Fewery does not shy away from the messy parts of human relationships. Despite delving into an emotional abyss, he employs a tender and light narrative style. He avoids unnecessary drama or cynicism, choosing instead to reminisce about happier moments and remind us of the reasons we fall in love in the first place. As a result, THE BRINK is both original and poignant, an entertaining read that offers a fresh perspective on love and its commotions.

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Excellent books for voracious readers

Every day we receive thousands of new books and we carefully select the ones we believe will interest you most. Our recipe? A great book should give food for thought, it should move, educate and fascinate the reader. A book is a door to another world: When reading, we discover different perspectives and widen our horizon. A book can change a person and yet, just as Edmund Wilson said, “no two persons ever read the same book.” That is another beauty of books. There is always room for interpretation, imagination and discussion. This is why we invite you to comment the books you read, recommend them to your friends and discuss them with fellow digital readers on 24symbols.

Whether you like thrillers, romance, contemporary novels or any other genre, there is always time for good books! So what are you waiting for? If haven not yet signed up as a Premium Member on 24symbols, subscribe now and discover a world of books!


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