Rebecca is waiting
Riverrun, £16.99, pp400
Sisters Alice and Hanna have spent their lives negotiating the mercurial tendencies of their manipulative mother. Hanna ran away overseas, while Alice honed the role of responsible girl. When Hanna returns home for their aunt’s funeral, the sisters are forced to deal with the dysfunctions of their family. Rebecca Wait’s highly entertaining fourth novel is a masterclass in family tensions, told with sharp dialogue, wit and emotional insight.
Picador, £20, pp528
Following The rise and fall of dinosaurs, paleontologist Steve Brusatte is interested in mammals. Contrary to popular belief, they did not appear after the dinosaurs disappeared but coexisted alongside them and shared a common ancestor. Brusatte, who reveals the fascinating history of mammalian evolution and the history of paleontological discoveries, is a passionate guide and the result is very engaging popular work.
Bloomsbury, £10.99, pp336 (paperback)