The Booksellers Association has announced The Harpy by Megan Hunter (Picador) and Jasbinder Bilan's Tamarind & The Star of Ishta (Chicken House) as its books of the month for September.
Hunter's novel, the Fiction Book of the Month, is a is a dark modern fairytale, telling the story of Lucy, who devotes her life to her children, her husband Jake and their house on the edge of a small, rich town. But when a stranger arrives at the house with the news that Jake has been having an affair, everything changes. In order to even the score and save their marriage, the couple agree that Lucy will hurt Jake three times, a dangerous game of crime and punishment that will change her forever.
The author said: “I am delighted and deeply touched that The Harpy is the Bookseller Association’s Fiction Book of the Month. Independent bookshops have been my sanctuary since childhood, treasured places that make me feel both consoled and inspired. To have their warm support for my second novel—especially in such disorientating times—means a great deal to me."
Amy Vale, bookseller at Book-ish added: “Poetic prose, with an unsettling undercurrent. The Harpy is one of those slow-burning, slightly weird books that are just so, so good.”
Meanwhile, Children's Book of the Month Tamarind & The Star of Ishta follows Tamarind, who returns to her ancestral home in India looking for answers about her mother, who died soon after she was born. But the house, a mansion in the Himalayas surrounded by luxurious gardens, is shrouded in silence and full of mysterious clues, including an abandoned hut, a friendly monkey, a glowing star ring and a strange girl in the garden who calls herself Ishta.
Bilan said: “I am so thrilled that Tamarind & the Star of Ishta has been chosen as the Children’s Book of the Month. I love the magic of indies—they’re run with passion, and are all about nurturing the reading heart of the world. They are places to lose yourself in and find something you never thought you were looking for.”
Independent bookshops around the UK and Ireland will be promoting both books throughout September. The Booksellers Association will also support the promotion through social media and the provision of promotional material.