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Readers' group sets of books - authors D to G

These books are free to borrow from Medway Libraries. Select the title and it will open up in a new window on the books' page on the Amazon website, which gives a review of the book and often the first few pages.

Author Title Copies Notes

Dash, Mike

Batavia's Graveyard

12

In 1628, the Batavia, the newest ship in the Dutch East India Company's fleet set sail on its maiden voyage to Java, with its hold crammed full with gold, silver and precious stones.

Davies, Martin

The Conjuror's Bird

12
(Also available in large print)

It seems a long time ago that Fitz and Gabby were together, with his work on extinct species about to make him world-famous. Now, it’s his career that is almost extinct.

Suddenly, though, the beautiful Gabby reappears in his life. She wants his help in tracing the history of The Mysterious Bird of Ulieta, a creature once owned by the great 18th-century naturalist Joseph Banks.

Davies, Peter Ho

The Welsh Girl

12
(Also available in large print and as a  CD audio book)

In 1944, a German Jewish refugee is sent to Wales to interview Rudolf Hess; in Snowdonia, a 17-year-old girl, the daughter of a fiercely nationalistic shepherd, dreams of the bright lights of an English city; and in a nearby POW camp, a German soldier struggles to reconcile his surrender with his sense of honour.

Dawson, Jill

Fred and Edie

9
(Also available in large print)

In the winter of 1922 Edith Waters and her younger lover, Freddy Bywaters, were found guilty of murdering Percy Waters, Edith's boorish husband. The two lovers were executed in a whirl of publicity in 1923.

Dawson, Jill

The Great Lover

9
(Also available in large print and as a  CD audio book)

In the summer of 1909, 17-year-old Nell Golightly is the new maid at the Orchard Tea Gardens in Cambridgeshire when Rupert Brooke moves in as a lodger. Famed for his looks and flouting of convention, the young poet captures the hearts of men and women alike, yet his own seems to stay intact.

Deane, Seamus

 Reading in the Dark

9

Ghosts haunt the stairwells of apartment buildings, a curse follows two families down through the generations, close friends turn out to be police informers and the police are as likely to persecute an innocent man as protect him.

 Desai, Kiran

 The Inheritance of Loss

10
(Also available in large print and on CD audio book)

In the foothills of the Himalayas sits a once grand, now crumbling house - home to three people and a dog. There is the retired judge dreaming of colonial yesterdays; his orphaned granddaughter Sai who has fallen for her clever maths tutor; the cook, whose son Biju writes untruthful letters home from New York City; and Mutt, the judge's beloved dog. Around the house swirls mountain mist - but also the forces of revolution and change. For a new world is clashing with the old, and the future offers both hope and betrayal

Dickason, Christie

The Principessa

12

Robert Cecil, Secretary of State to James I, has a problem. He owes a vast and secret debt to the Prince of La Spada, who is dying and has called in the loan - and Cecil cannot pay.

Dickens, Charles

Bleak House

12

As the interminable case of Jarndyce and Jarndyce grinds its way through the Court of Chancery, it draws together a disparate group of people:

Dickens, Charles

A Tale of Two Cities

12 (Also available in large print)

Rich in drama and romance, this deftly plotted 1859 historical novel bristles with suspense and culminates in a daring prison escape in the shadow of the guillotine.

Dickens, Charles

Great Expectations

10

An absorbing mystery as well as a morality tale, the story of Pip, a poor village lad, and his expectations of wealth is Dickens at his most deliciously readable. The cast of characters includes kindly Joe Gargery, the loyal convict Abel Magwitch and the haunting Miss Havisham. If you have heartstrings, count on them being tugged.

Dickens, Charles

The Mystery of Edwin Drood

12 (Also available on CD audiobook)

Dickens died before completing his last novel, leaving its mystery unsolved and encouraging successive generations of readers to try and work out what happened next. This book contains a chronology, notes and Dickens's plans for the story.

Di Giovanni, Janine

Ghosts by Daylight

9

Janine di Giovanni has spent most of her career—more than 20 years—in war zones recording events on behalf of the voiceless. From Sarajevo to East Timor, from Sierra Leone to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Somalia, she has been under siege and under fire.
Along the way she meets Bruno, a French reporter whose spirit and audacity are a match for her own.

Their love affair spans nearly a decade and a dozen armed conflicts before they settle in Paris to raise a family. But Janine soon learns that a life lived in war is inevitably haunted. Bruno struggles with physical and emotional pain, and Janine, a new mother and wife in Paris, is afraid both for Bruno and herself and for the work that they do—and doubtful that she can hold their lives together.

Donnelly, Jennifer

A Gathering Light

12
(Also available in large print)

When Mattie Gokey is given a bundle of letters to burn she fully intends to execute the wishes of the giver, Grace Brown. When Grace Brown is found drowned the next day in Big Moose Lake, Mattie finds that it is not as easy to burn those letters as she had thought.

Donoghue, Emma

Room

9 (Also available in large print)

It's Jack's birthday and he's excited about turning five. Jack lives with his Ma in Room, which has a locked door and a skylight, and measures 11 feet by 11 feet. He loves watching TV but he knows that nothing he sees on screen is truly real. Until the day Ma admits that there's a world outside.

Doyle, Roddy

A Star Called Henry

6
(Also available on CD audio book)

Born in the Dublin slums of 1902, his father, a one-legged whorehouse bouncer and settler of scores, Henry Smart, has to grow up fast. By the time he can walk he's out robbing and begging, often cold and always hungry, but a prince of the streets.

Duffy, Carol Ann

The World's Wife

10

A collection of poems, each of which takes a famous male person or character - Midas, Darwin, Quasimodo, Pontious Pilate, King Kong - and presents their story from the perspective of the lesser-known wife.

Duffy, Stella

Theodora

12

Justinian took a wife: and the manner she was born and bred, and wedded to this man, tore up the Roman Empire by the very roots. Theodora of Constantinople rose from nothing to become the most powerful woman in the history of Byzantine Rome. In Stella Duffy's breathtaking new novel, she comes to life again - a fascinating, controversial and seductive woman. Some called her a saint. Others were not so kind.

When her father is killed, the young Theodora is forced into near slavery to survive. But just as she learns to control her body as a dancer, and for the men who can afford her, so she is determined to shape a very different fate for herself. From the vibrant streets and erotic stage shows of sixth century Constantinople to the holy desert retreats of Alexandria, Theodora is an extraordinary imaginative achievement from one of our finest writers.

Du Maurier, Daphne

Rebecca

12 (Also available in large print)

Du Maurier's famous tale of suspense, mystery and love concerns Maxim de Winter's shy new bride and the house she is to inhabit, but that still reverberates to the haunting presence of his previous wife's influence.

Ebershoff, David

The 19th Wife

12

Jordan returns from California to Utah to visit his mother in jail. As a teenager he was expelled from his family and religious community, a secretive Mormon offshoot sect. Now his father has been found shot dead in front of his computer, and one of his many wives - Jordan's mother - is accused of the crime.

Over a century earlier, Ann Eliza Young, the nineteenth wife of Brigham Young, Prophet and Leader of the Mormon Church, tells the sensational story of how her own parents were drawn into plural marriage, and how she herself battled for her freedom and escaped her powerful husband, to lead a crusade to end polygamy in the United States.

Eggers, Dave

How we are Hungry

12
(Also available as an eBook)

These stories will make you appreciate that Dave Eggers and the short story were made for each other.

Ellis, Bret Easton

Glamorama

6

Set in 1990s Manhattan, Victor Ward, a model with perfect abs and all the right friends, is seen and photographed everywhere. On the eve of opening the trendiest nightclub in New York history, he’s living with one beautiful model and having an affair with another. Now it’s time to move to the next stage. But the future he gets is not the one he had in mind.

Elton, Charles

Mr Toppit

9
(Also available in large print, as an eBook and as a CD audio book)

When the author of The Hayseed Chronicles, Arthur Hayman, is mown down by a concrete truck in Soho, his legacy passes to his widow, Martha, and her children - the fragile Rachel, and Luke, reluctantly immortalised as Luke Hayseed, the central character of his father's books. But others want their share, particularly Laurie, who has a mysterious agenda of her own that changes all their lives.

Ephron, Nora

Heartburn

12

Seven months into her pregnancy, Rachel discovers that her husband is in love with another woman. The fact that this woman has a 'neck as long as an arm and a nose as long as a thumb' is no consolation. Food sometimes is, though, since Rachel is a cookery writer, and between trying to win Mark back and wishing him dead, she offers us some of her favourite recipes.

Equiano, Olaudah

The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano or Gustavus Vassa, the African

9
(Also available as an eBook)

Olaudah Equiano recounts his remarkable life story, which begins when he is kidnapped in Africa as a boy and sold into slavery and culminates when he has achieved renown as a British antislavery advocate.

Esquivel, Laura

Like Water for Chocolate

11

Tita, the youngest daughter of the house, has been forbidden to marry, condemned by Mexican tradition to look after her mother until she dies. But Tita falls in love with Pedro, and he is seduced by the magical food she cooks.

Faulkner, William

The Sound and the Fury

12

Depicting the gradual disintegration of the Compson family through four fractured narratives, this novel explores intense, passionate family relationships where there is no love, only self-centredness.

Faulks, Sebastian

Charlotte Gray

10

In 1942, Charlotte Gray, a young Scottish woman, goes to Occupied France on a dual mission: to run an apparently simple errand for a British special operations group and to search for her lover, an English airman called Peter Gregory, who has gone missing in action.

Faulks, Sebastian

On Green Dolphin Street

12
(Also available in large print and on CD audio book)

It's 1959 and the presidential battle between Kennedy and Nixon is heating up. Just as the country stands between two men so does Mary van der Linden, the wife of a British embassy employee in Washington and lover of political newspaper reporter Frank Renzo.

Fforde, Jasper

The Eyre Affair

7

Thursday Next lives in a world where time and reality are endlessly mutable--someone has ensured that the Crimean War never ended for example--a world policed by men like her disgraced father, whose name has been edited out of existence.

Flanders, Judith

A Circle of Sisters

12
(Also available as an eBook)

A collective biography of the four Macdonald sisters, two of whom married the famous painters Edward Burne-Jones and Edward Poynter, while the other two married Lockwood Kipling and Alfred Baldwin and produced between them a poet laureate and a prime minister.

Fletcher, Susan

Eve Green

12
(Also available in large print)

Following the loss of her mother, eight-year-old Evie is sent to a new life in rural Wales where flowers appear mysteriously on doorsteps and people look at her twice.

Foer, Joshua,

Moonwalking with Einstein

10

Joshua Foer takes us on an astonishing journey through the mind, from ancient 'memory palace' techniques to neuroscience, from the man who can recall 9.000 books to another who constantly forgets who he is. In doing so, Foer shows how we can all improve our memories.

Ford, Ford Madox, 

Parade's End

12

 Tietjens is the last of a breed, the Tory gentleman, which the Great War, marriage and qualities inherent in his nature define and unravel. Opposite him is Macmaster, a Scot, different in class and culture, at once friend and foil.

Forster, Margaret

Is There Anything You Want?

12

What do Mrs H., Rachel, Edwina, Ida, Sarah, Dot, Chrissie have in common? They're all women, but they're fat, thin, old, young, professional, incompetent - and appear as diverse as human nature can be.

Forster, Margaret

Good Wives: Mary, Fanny, Jennie and Me, 1845-2001

11
(Also available in large print)

In 1848, Mary Moffatt became the devoted wife of the missionary and explorer, David Livingstone, in Africa and it eventually killed her. In 1960, 112 years later, Margaret Forster married her high school sweetheart, Hunter Davies, in a London Register Office and 40 years later, they are still married.

Frayn, Michael

Spies

11
(Also available in large print)

In the quiet cul-de-sac where Keith and Stephen live there is very little evidence of the Second World War. But the two friends suspect that the inhabitants of the Close are not what they seem.

Fyfield, Frances

Blind Date

10

Everyone loved Emma Davey. That is, until someone put a bin liner over her head and kicked her to death. Elisabeth, her sister, finds the quest for love harder. She is haunted by Emma's death and her own attempts to lure the killer into a confession.

Gallenzi, Alessandro

Bestseller

6
(Also available as an eBook)

Jim Talbot, a writer with a dozen unpublished novels under his belt, has been roundly rejected by virtually every agent and publisher in the land, and is willing to go to extreme lengths to make his dream of literary stardom come true.

Charles Randall, the eccentric founder and managing director of Tetragon Press, a small independent publisher that has managed to survive for thirty years in a fierce publishing environment dominated by corporate juggernauts, is about to be brutally sacked by a newly appointed business consultant. Inevitably, and calamitously, Charles and Jim's paths are about to collide.

Garcia Marquez, Gabriel

One Hundred Years of Solitude

12
(Also available in large print)

This is the story of seven generations of the Buendi, a family, and of Macondo, the town they have built.

Gardam, Jane

The Man in the Wooden Hat

12
(Also available in large print and on CD audio book)

This is a story which will make the reader weep for the missed opportunities, while laughing aloud for the joy and the wit. Filth (Failed In London Try Hong Kong) is a successful lawyer when he marries Elisabeth in Hong Kong soon after the War. Reserved, immaculate and courteous, Filth finds it hard to demonstrate his emotions. But Elisabeth is different - a free spirit. She was brought up in the Japanese Internment Camps, which killed both her parents, but left her with a lust for survival and an affinity with the Far East.

Gardam, Jane

Old Filth

12
(Also available in large print)

Filth, in his heyday, was an international lawyer with a practice in the Far East. Now, only the oldest QCs and Silks can remember that his nickname stood for Failed In London Try Hong Kong. Long ago, Old Filth was a Raj orphan - one of the many young children sent 'Home' from the East to be fostered and educated in England.

Gardam, Jane

Faith Fox

12

When sweet, healthy hearty Holly Fox dies suddenly in childbirth, the Surrey village in which she lived reverberates with shock. She leaves behind her a helpless, silent husband, and a tiny daughter, Faith.

Gaskell, Elizabeth

Cranford

12
(Also available in large print)

This is a comic portrait of an early Victorian country village and its genteel inhabitants, mostly women, whose social attitudes remain firmly unchanging against the modernising world, and whose domestic details dominate conversation.

Gaskell, Elizabeth

North and South

12

When her father leaves the church, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the North of England.

Gaskell, Elizabeth

Wives and Daughters

11

Set in the mid-19th century in the small village of Hollingford, in rural England, the Industrial Revolution hasn't yet thrown the country into turmoil, and the railway is just beginning to cut a swathe through the land.

George, Elizabeth

A Traitor to Memory

12

Virtuoso violinist Gideon Davies has lost his memory of music and his ability to play the instrument he mastered at the age of five. One fateful night at Wigmore Hall, he lifted his violin to play in a Beethoven trio and everything in his mind related to music was gone.

Gibbons, Stella

Cold Comfort Farm

8
(Also available as an eBook)

When sensible, sophisticated Flora Poste is orphaned at 19, she decides her only choice is to descend upon relatives in deepest Sussex.

Gilbert, Elizabeth

Committed: A Love Story

10

This contemplation of marriage debunks myths, unthreads fears and suggests that sometimes even the most romantic of souls must trade in their amorous fantasies for the humbling responsibilities of adulthood.

Gilbert, Elizabeth

Eat Pray Love

8
(Also available in large print, as an eBook and as a CD audio book)

It's 3 a.m. and Elizabeth Gilbert is sobbing on the bathroom floor. She's in her thirties, she has a husband, a house, they're trying for a baby - and she doesn't want any of it. A bitter divorce and a turbulent love affair later, she emerges battered and bewildered and realises it is time to pursue her own journey in search of three things she has been missing: pleasure, devotion and balance.

Gilbert, Elizabeth

Committed: a love story

10

This contemplation of marriage debunks myths, unthreads fears and suggests that sometimes even the most romantic of souls must trade in their amorous fantasies for the humbling responsibilities of adulthood.

Gilmour, David

The Long Recessional: The Imperial Life of Rudyard Kipling

12

Rudyard Kipling was a unique figure in British history, a great writer and at the same time a great imperial icon.

Golden, Arthur

Memoirs of a Geisha

10
(Also available in large print)

A seductive and evocative epic on an intimate scale, that tells the extraordinary story of a geisha girl.

Gordimer, Nadime

Get a Life

7

When Paul Bannerman, an ecologist in Africa, is diagnosed with cancer and prescribed treatment that makes him radioactive, his suddenly fragile existence makes him question his life for the first time.

Grazebrook, Sarah

Crooked Pieces

12
(Also available in large print)

Maggie seems to be going up in the world. Compared to living with her large and impoverished East London family and watching her mother being worn down by life and childbearing, working as a maid is a big improvement.

Green, Giselle

A Sister's Gift

12
(Also available in large print)

Two sisters. Best of friends. Worst of enemies.

Hollie Hudson and her husband Richard are fast losing hope of ever having their own child. But Hollie is unable to give up her dream of having her own family and so calls on her last chance - her wayward sister, Scarlett. A 24-year-old blonde bombshell, she is the antithesis of her darker, more reserved older sister but capable of giving Hollie the miracle she so desperately wishes for. Having almost single-handedly brought Scarlett up after their runaway mother abandoned them, Scarlett knows she owes Hollie everything - and now it's time to pay her back with the ultimate gift… Plus she has an ulterior motive.

Back from the Amazon where she’s been working with endangered species and threatened tribes, Scarlett finds being back home difficult. Especially as the past - and past feelings - come back to haunt her. Meanwhile, an ever-desperate Hollie is faced with the decision of a lifetime if she’s ever to get the baby she wants, but just how much is she willing to put at stake? Find out more in this mesmerising and heartbreaking tale from a stunning British talent about sacrifice, sisterhood, long-held secrets and dangerous desires.

Greene, Graham

The Human Factor

10

The main character in this novel, is a double agent, and Greene goes to great pains to bring him to life and try to make his inevitable defection to Russia believable.

Greene, Graham

Monsignor Quixote

12

With Sancho Panza, a deposed Communist mayor, his faithful Rocinate, an antiquated motorcar, Monsignor Quixote roams through modern-day Spain in a brilliant picaresque fable.

Gregory, Phillipa

The Other Boleyn Girl

9
(Also available in large print)

This fabulous historical novel is set in the court of King Henry VIII. Mary Boleyn attracts the attention of the young king and becomes his mistress; when he tires of her, she sets out to school her sister, Anne, as a replacement.

Greig, Andrew

That Summer

12
(Also available in large print)

It is late June and the summer of 1940 is about to become the myth that will define a generation. When Len Westbourne, an inexperienced fighter pilot falls in love with Stella Gardam, a radar operator with a far more worldly attitude, they are all too aware that their time may be short as the War becomes an epic struggle between the Luftwaffe and the RAF - The Battle of Britain.

Grenville, Kate

The Lieutenant

10
(Also available in large print and as an eBook)

In 1788 Daniel Rooke sets out on a journey that will change the course of his life. As a lieutenant in the First Fleet, he lands on the wild and unknown shores of New South Wales. There he sets up an observatory to chart the stars. But this country will prove far more revelatory than the stars above.

Grenville, Kate

The Secret River

10
(Also available in large print, as an eBook and as a CD audio book)

This story is set in London, 1807. William Thornhill, happily wedded to his childhood sweetheart Sal, is a waterman on the River Thames. Life is tough but bearable until William makes a mistake, a bad mistake for which he and his family are made to pay dearly.

Griffin, Gwyn

An Operational Necessity

6

To save his boat could the U-boat captain be justified in his actions which involved destroying the wreckage of a recently-torpedoed freighter on which the survivors were taking refuge.

Grossmith, George and Weedon

The Diary of a Nobody

12

Amusing fiction of the Edwardian period from the Grossmith brothers, Mr Pooter is an office clerk and upright family man in a dull 1880s suburb.

Gruen, Sara

Water for Elephants

12

When Jacob Jankowski, recently orphaned and suddenly adrift, jumps onto a passing train, he enters a world of freaks, grifters, and misfits - the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth - a second-rate travelling circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression, making one-night stands in town after endless town.