Purity by Jonathan Franzen
Young Pip Tyler doesn’t know who she is. She knows that her real name is Purity, that she’s saddled with $130,000 in student debt, that she’s squatting with anarchists in Oakland and that her relationship with her mother – her only family – is hazardous. But she doesn’t have a clue who her father is, why her mother chose to live as a recluse with an invented name or how she’ll ever have a normal life. Enter the Germans. A glancing encounter with a German peace activist leads Pip to an internship in South America with the Sunlight Project, an organization that traffics in all the secrets of the world including, Pip hopes, the secret of her origins. TSP is the brainchild of Andreas Wolf, a charismatic provocateur who rose to fame in the chaos following the fall of the Berlin Wall. Now on the lam in Bolivia andreas is drawn to Pip for reasons she doesn’t understand and the intensity of her response to him upends her conventional ideas of right and wrong. Jonathan Franzen’s Purity is a grand story of youthful idealism, extreme fidelity and murder. He has imagined a world of vividly original characters – Californians and East Germans, good parents and bad parents, journalists and leakers – and he follows their intertwining paths through landscapes as contemporary as the omnipresent Internet and as ancient as the war between the sexes.
Golden Lion by Wilbur Smith
East African Coast, 1670. In a time of brave and brutal adventure, one man will journey across land and sea to pursue his greatest enemy.The Golden Bough, captained by Henry ‘Hal’ Courtney, is running south from Ethiopia to Zanzibar. Below deck, both his crew and his lover, the fearless warrior Judith Nazet, sleep. As the moon glints through clouds, Hal sights a ship passing close by. Although there is an uneasy truce between the warring English and Dutch, Hal scents danger. When the Bough is boarded, the crew must go hand to hand to defend their ship and their lives. But soon Hal will face even graver danger, as he discovers his mortal enemy still lives and is hell-bent on revenge. He must pursue his nemesis across desert savannah,through the seedy underbelly of Zanzibar’s slave markets and shark-infested waters, imperilling his own life at every turn. But it will take more than a slave’s shackles to hold Hal Courtney. A thrilling blend of extraordinary drama and epic storytelling, Golden Lion sees Wilbur Smith return in triumphant form to the adventures of his beloved and bestsellling Courtney family.