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The best books of 2019 – picked by the year’s best writers

Jojo Moyes

Shortlisted for novel of the year at the British Book awards for Still Me

I often find it hard to remember what I’ve read, but Three Women by Lisa Taddeo (Bloomsbury, £16.99) scorched its way into my consciousness. A journalistic deep dive into the desires and love lives of three women over eight years, it turns on its head much of what you think about how we learn to love.

Kate Weinberg’s debut, The Truants (Bloomsbury, £8.99), took eight years to write, and it shows in the multilayered characters and plot. It contains an image, a hearse in a wood, that stayed with me. If you’ve ever wanted to disappear from your own life, this book will speak to you. You Will Be Safe Here by Damian Barr (Bloomsbury, £16.99) is another debut, but you’d never know it from the lean, beautiful prose. I was afraid this novel about violence through generations in South Africa would be too dark, but it pulls you in, breaks your heart and then ultimately repairs it.

Bernardine Evaristo

Joint winner of the Booker prize for Girl, Woman, Other

Taking Up

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