Riverrun, £16.99, pp400
Sisters Alice and Hanna have spent their lives negotiating the mercurial tendencies of their manipulative mother. Hanna has escaped abroad, while Alice has perfected the role of the responsible daughter. When Hanna returns home for their aunt’s funeral, the sisters are forced to confront their family’s dysfunctions. Rebecca Wait’s highly entertaining fourth novel is a masterclass in familial tensions, told with razor-sharp dialogue, wit and emotional insight.
Picador, £20, pp528
Following on from The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, paleontologist Steve Brusatte turns his attention to mammals. Contrary to popular belief, they did not emerge after the demise of the dinosaurs but coexisted alongside them and share a common ancestor. Brusatte, who reveals the fascinating story of mammalian evolution and the history of paleontological discoveries, is an impassioned guide and the result is a highly engaging work of popular science.
Bloomsbury, £10.99, pp336 (paperback)