Fabulous February Books Out in the UK

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Rabeea Saleem

Staff Writer

Rabeea is a Karachi-based writer. Her two vices are cricket and literature. Book critic for various international publications including Chicago Review of Books, Irish Times and The National. She can be reached at

February brought with it bucketloads of literary excellence. I have narrowed it down to a few of my personal favorites. So get ready to add these terrific reads to your TBR piles. Buckle up, readers!

House of Trelawney by Hannah Rothschild (Bloomsbury)

This sensational family saga about an English aristocratic family on the verge of collapse will take care of your Succession withdrawals. A cross between a trenchant social satire and an engrossing comedy of manners, you will devour this compelling read in one sitting.

Big Girl, Small Town by Michelle Gallen (John Murray)

An endearing tale of a girl who is unaware of her autism. Gallen brilliantly brings to life the small town anxieties and conflicts of an Irish town.

Grown Ups by Marian Keyes (Michael Joseph)

Keyes is a pro at delivering tenderhearted, compulsively readable novels and her latest is no different. This one’s an entertaining family saga with a generous dose of heart and humor.

Escape Routes by Naomi Ishiguro (Tinder Press)

A wide-ranging speculative short story collection from a striking new voice in fiction. Ishiguro presents captivating stories of people seeking a little bit of magic and escapism from the trappings of everyday life.

The Mercies by Kiran Millwood Hargave (Picador)

Hargave’s much awaited adult novel is the fascinating story inspired by a real life witch hunt in a 7th century Norwegian fishing village. Enchanting yet terrifying in parts, The Mercies is a treat for fans of historical and speculative fiction.

Winter in Sokcho by Elisa Shua Dusapin (Daunt books)

Set in a remote tourist town between North and South Korea, this slim novella packs in a stirring story. Dusapin has crafted a wistful tale about temporary connections and life lived on the margins.

Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano (Viking)

A 12-year-old sole survivor of a plane crash is the star of this poignant and richly textured portrait of humanity in all its forms. A heart-wrenching coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of a harrowing tragedy.

The Illness Lesson by Clare Beams (Doubleday)

A riveting novel about an atrocious medical experiment inflicted on adolescent girls to cure hysteria in the 1870s. While it can be categorized as historical fiction, this story gives timely commentary on women’s autonomy over their minds and bodies.

Apeirogon by Colum McCann (Bloomsbury)

An ambitious epic about the friendship forged between a Palestinian and an Israeli on shared grief. This intricately woven story explores the human cost of the long-standing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Wandering by Intan Paramadhita (Harvill Secker)

An ingeniously crafted debut which lets you make your own choices about where you want the story to go. This is an electrifying novel about cosmopolitanism and global nomadism that keeps readers on their toes.

Gathering Evidence by Martin MacInnes (Atlantic)

This follow-up to the critically acclaimed Infinite Ground is remarkably prescient. MacInnes illustrates earth on the verge of extinction with stunning creativity and verve.

Searching for Sylvie Lee by Jean Kwok (Joh Murray)

This magnificent novel interweaves a tender portrait of an immigrant family with a propulsive mystery. Kwok has crafted a gripping multi-generational saga with a Chinese immigrant family at its center.