Recently I’ve been on a reading spree, which has been an utter joy. So it’s time to share with my High Tea Party friends some of the latest books that have given me many delightful hours.

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

This little gem cam recommended via a friend of my mother’s. Set in New York City during the Great Depression, it tells the story of Katey Kontent, a brainy young woman of slender means and a gift for a killer one-liner. The dialogue is like something out of a Katharine Hepburn/Spencer Tracy film. I found myself chuckling and being delighted by almost every thought and word Katey had, as I felt moved by her relationships and the fates of her friends. Can’t recommend this 2011 novel highly enough. Now I’m just looking forward to reading the author’s latest offering, A Gentleman in Moscow, which has just been released.

The Stars are Fire by Anita Shreve

Ten years on and a very different America sets the scene for Anita Shreve’s latest novel. It’s 1947 and a terrifying bushfire devastates the state of Maine. Grace Holland and her children manage to survive, but her husband has gone missing and she must make a new life for herself. She finds liberation in the process and learns what she’s made of, what love should be like, and is then confronted with a painful truth which turns her new life on its head. This is a great book, both horrifying and uplifting in its descriptions of Grace’s life circumstances and the sense of entrapment she, and many women, must have felt in that time and place.

Behind Closed Doors BA Paris

This is a page-turner in the style of Girl on a Train. And, like Girl on a Train, it’s about a couple that seems perfect, as long as you don’t look too closely. Grace is elegant, beautiful, slim and a killer cook. Her husband Jack is rich, successful and caring – after all, he’s a lawyer who represents battered women. But, slowly but surely, you realise that Jack and Grace’s marriage is not exactly how it is presented to the world, and then you will keep reading just to find out how this came about and whether or not there is any escape. It’s a horrifying, gripping read that is perfect for those who love a twisted psychological thriller.