Dawn McGuigan book reviews

New books for February

February may be the shortest month but there’s still plenty of time to pack in some awesome books. Here are my picks for four great new books for February.

The Familiars

The Familiars by Stacey Halls

Release date: 7 February

This sumptuous book has been described as the “most spellbinding debut novel of 2019”. It’s getting lots of buzz from preview reviewers and will appeal to those who like their historical fiction with a dollop of feminism and witchcraft on the side (like me!).

Here’s the blurb from the publisher:

Fleetwood Shuttleworth is 17 years old, married, and pregnant for the fourth time. But as the mistress at Gawthorpe Hall, she still has no living child, and her husband Richard is anxious for an heir. When Fleetwood finds a letter she isn’t supposed to read from the doctor who delivered her third stillbirth, she is dealt the crushing blow that she will not survive another pregnancy.

Then she crosses paths by chance with Alice Gray, a young midwife. Alice promises to help her give birth to a healthy baby, and to prove the physician wrong.

As Alice is drawn into the witchcraft accusations that are sweeping the North-West, Fleetwood risks everything by trying to help her. But is there more to Alice than meets the eye?

Soon the two women’s lives will become inextricably bound together as the legendary trial at Lancaster approaches, and Fleetwood’s stomach continues to grow. Time is running out, and both their lives are at stake.

Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other.


Adele by Leila Slimani

Release date: 7 February

We read Slimani’s previous book Lullaby at book club last year and adored it. She’s a master of suspense and manages to pack a punch in her tightly written, wryly observed prose. Plus, it oozes Frenchness which is always a hit with me.

Here’s the blurb from the publisher: