Mirror Book Club: Mantel’s The Mirror And The Light is gripping and remarkable

In this week's rundown of the Mirror Book Club, our reviewers look at a deeply moving account of a Jewish family's 20th century history.

And the eagerly awaited conclusion to the Wolf Hall trilogy by multi-award winning Hilary Mantel is finally out.

The Chain by Adrian McKinty gets the thumbs-up and an unusual child take centre stage in a moving, original novel.

House Of Glass, by Hadley Freeman

4th Estate, £16.99

Hadley Freeman explores her Jewish family’s 20th century history in this captivating biography.

Even as a child, Hadley sensed her grandmother Sala’s deep unhappiness but it is only when she starts researching and uncovers years of anti-semitic persecution that she understands why.

We follow Sala and her three brothers across the tumultuous century and its many upheavals.

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They fled Poland for France, only for their new homeland to become even more dangerous than the first.

Although Henri became a wealthy inventor and Alex a celebrated fashion designer and art dealer, their brother Jacques died in Auschwitz.

And Sala was forced to marry the wrong man to escape danger.

She moved to America where homesickness dogged her until her dying day.

A deeply moving, vividly evoked and depressingly timely family history.

The Mirror And The Light, by Hilary Mantel

Fourth Estate, £25

In the eagerly awaited conclusion to the Wolf Hall trilogy, Henry VIII’s right-hand man Thomas Cromwell must consolidate the Reformation state, repress enemies of the church and juggle threats abroad.

But his greatest challenge is the king’s failure to produce an heir.

And it is the king who undoes Cromwell in the end.

A gripping, truly remarkable read.

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The Chain, by Adrian McKinty

Orion, £8.99

Rachel Klein has been battling breast cancer while raising daughter Kylie, 13, alone.

Driving to a check-up, Rachel gets a terrifying phone call – a stranger has kidnapped her daughter.

To free her child she must pay a ransom, then abduct someone else’s child.

Kylie will only be released when the parents of Rachel’s victim kidnap another child to make “The Chain” go on.

Nerve-shredding and harrowing.

One Moment, by Linda Green

Quercus, £7.99

In this original and moving story, Finn, 10, is an unusual boy who loves Alan Titchmarsh’s gardening shows and only eats at restaurants with five-star hygiene ratings.

He’s bullied at school and his parents are divorcing.

Fifty-something Kaz is struggling to care for her schizophrenic brother and keep her job in a café.

Against the odds, Finn and Kaz meet – and when their paths cross again, their lives change.


Each month we choose a paperback we think you’ll enjoy, either fiction or non-fiction.

When you’ve read it, we’d love you to join our Facebook group and tell us what you thought, good or bad.

■ Current Mirror Book Club read: Conviction by Denise Mina

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