Rachael English’s best books of the year

Presenter of Morning Ireland, on RTÉ Radio 1, and the author of Going Back


My absolute favourite book this year is The Engagements by J Courtney Sullivan (Virago). A book about love and life and how people change over time, it moves between five separate stories, from a worn-out paramedic in 1980s Boston to a privileged French woman who follows her lover to New York.

A diamond engagement ring draws all of the stories together, but this is so subtly handled that it’s only towards the end of the book that you start to spot all of the connections.

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld (Doubleday) tells an unusual story about two unusual sisters. One predicts a major earthquake; the other doesn’t know whether to believe her.

What I like about Sittenfeld’s books is that while she is a beautiful writer, she’s also a wonderful storyteller. Neither sister is instantly lovable, but both linger in the memory.

Next: Lilly Higgins's books of the year
Previous: Eamon Dunphy

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