MUST READS | Daily Mail Online
Allende’s sweeping saga is a powerful chronicle of a woman’s life and loves in troubled times
by Isabel Allende (Bloomsbury £8.99, 336pp)
Violeta was born in an unnamed South American country during the Spanish flu epidemic. A century later, during Covid, she writes a letter to her grandson, looking back on the story of her life and the history she lived through.
Born into a family that lost its money in the Great Depression, Violeta grew up in the poverty-stricken south of the country. Her marriage to a dull, respectable man ended when she ran away with a charismatic but criminal pilot who treated her badly.
A coup (echoing the 1973 ousting by General Pinochet of Allende’s cousin, the reformist Chilean politician Salvador Allende) inspires Violeta’s social awakening, and she gains her independence as a successful businesswoman.
Allende’s sweeping saga is a powerful chronicle of a woman’s life and loves in troubled times.
Neuroscientist Stephanie Cacioppo was fascinated by the science of love
WIRED FOR LOVE
by Stephanie Cacioppo (Robinson £10.99, 224pp)
Neuroscientist Stephanie Cacioppo was fascinated by the science of love. Could passion hold the clue to a healthy brain?
Colleagues warned that studying love was ‘career suicide’, and her grant proposal with ‘love’ in the title was rejected — until she substituted ‘pair bonding’. Stephanie persisted with her research, without ever having experienced love for herself.
But that changed suddenly, one day in 2011, when Stephanie met John at a conference. He was 60, she was 36; his field was loneliness, hers was love; they lived on different continents — and they fell overwhelmingly in love.
They married in Paris and were blissfully happy until John’s death in 2018.
Drawing on her expertise and her own love story, Stephanie suggests that ‘love is not merely a feeling but also a way of thinking’.
Every morning, Travis Devine catches the 6.20 train to Manhattan from the suburbs
THE 6.20 MAN
by David Baldacci (Pan £8.99, 592pp)
Every morning, Travis Devine catches the 6.20 train to Manhattan from the suburbs. A decorated army veteran with a troubled past, Travis loathes his job at investment firm Cowl & Comely.
A highlight of his commute is the daily sight of a beautiful, bikini-clad woman at the poolside of one of the mansions on his route.
One morning, something about her seems strange — and not just the fact that she’s skinny-dipping.
At work Devine receives an email telling him that Sara, a colleague whom he had briefly dated, has hanged herself at work.
As the body count increases, Devine finds himself both a prime suspect and tasked by a mysterious retired general with investigating the goings-on at Cowl & Comely.
Fast-paced and riveting, Baldacci’s latest thriller keeps the suspense taut until the very end.