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Freshers by Joanna Davies

A youthful, raucous rite of passage story about three Welsh first year students in 1990's Aberystwyth. Delving into the darker sides of student life we get everything from simple drunken debauchery through to adultery, abortion and suicide. Moments of humour lift the tone, but this is not for the fainthearted, or for any parent who has recently waved their child off to university!

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The House of Rajani by Alon Hilu

Who will you believe when you are presented with these two diaries written in parallel - the Jewish man who cheats on his wife or the Arab boy who says that he can see into the future? This historical tale of love and betrayal symbolises the 20th century conflict, fought over land, between Jews and Arabs. A read full of rich and lush description.

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The Quickening Maze by Adam Foulds

Poets, lunatics, an inventor and a girl on the cusp of womanhood make their way blindly (or searchingly) through the maze of life. I relished the poetic language and rich imagery, really felt for the characters and reached the end wondering what it all amounted to: what are the boundaries between creativity and madness, love and self, health and sickness? If you love 19th century poetry, you will also enjoy this insight into the private lives of John Clare and Alfred Tennyson.

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The Rat Killer by Alexander Terekhov

A surreal, funny and thought-provoking view of modern, small town Russia through the eyes of a young man who may be ratcatcher, or a PhD student or an assassin - or none of these. Just enjoy the flow and make your own mind up if you can!

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