What I’m Reading in September

Here are some of the books I’ll be reading this September.

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A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars by Yaba Badoe

A powerful, haunting, contemporary debut that steps seamlessly from the horrors of people-trafficking to the magic of African folklore, by an award-winning Ghanaian-British filmmaker.

Sante was a baby when she was washed ashore in a sea-chest laden with treasure. It seems she is the sole survivor of the tragic sinking of a ship carrying migrants and refugees. Her people.

Fourteen years on she’s a member of Mama Rose’s unique and dazzling circus. But, from their watery grave, the unquiet dead are calling Sante to avenge them:

A bamboo flute. A golden bangle. A ripening mango which must not fall… if Sante is to tell their story and her own.

Rich in the rhythms and colours of Africa and glittering circus days. Unflinching in its dark revelations about life. Yaba Badoe’s novel is beautiful and cruel and will linger long in the memory.

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The Gatekeeper by Nuraliah Norasid

When young medusa Ria inadvertently turns an entire village to stone, she and her older sister flee to Nelroote, an underground settlement populated by other non-humans also marginalised by society. There she becomes their gatekeeper, hoping to seek redemption and love…until her friendship with a man from above threatens to dismantle the city she swore to protect.

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A Skinful of Shadows by Frances Hardinge

When a creature dies, its spirit can go looking for somewhere to hide.

Some people have space inside them, perfect for hiding.

Makepeace, a courageous girl with a mysterious past, defends herself nightly from the ghosts which try to possess her. Then a dreadful event causes her to drop her guard for a moment.

And now there’s a ghost inside her.

The spirit is wild, brutish and strong, but it may be her only defence in a time of dark suspicion and fear. As the English Civil War erupts, Makepeace must decide which is worse: possession – or death.

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