Annal: 2010 Costa Book Award for Novel

Results of the Costa Book Award in the year 2010.

Book:The Hand That First Held Mine

The Hand That First Held Mine: A Novel

Maggie O'Farrell

Lexie Sinclair is plotting an extraordinary life for herself.

Hedged in by her parents’ genteel country life, she plans her escape to London. There, she takes up with Innes Kent, a magazine editor who wears duck-egg blue ties and introduces her to the thrilling, underground world of bohemian, post-war Soho. She learns to be a reporter, to know art and artists, to embrace her life fully and with a deep love at the center of it. She creates many lives—all of them unconventional. And when she finds herself pregnant, she doesn’t hesitate to have the baby on her own.

Later, in present-day London, a young painter named Elina dizzily navigates the first weeks of motherhood. She doesn’t recognize herself: she finds herself walking outside with no shoes; she goes to the restaurant for lunch at nine in the morning; she can’t recall the small matter of giving birth. But for her boyfriend, Ted, fatherhood is calling up lost memories, with images…[more]

Book:The Blasphemer (Nigel Farndale)

The Blasphemer: A Novel

Nigel Farndale

On its way to the Galápagos Islands, a light aircraft ditches into the sea. As water floods the cabin, zoologist Daniel Kennedy faces an im­possible choice—should he save himself, or Nancy, the woman he loves and the mother of his child?

Back in London, Daniel can’t stop thinking about the man he saw while swimming fourteen miles—on the verge of exhaustion and hypothermia—to reach the islands: a smiling figure treading water, urging him to swim just a few strokes farther until his foot touched sand. An adamant atheist, Daniel is certain it was merely a hallucination brought on by his physical state. Or was it?

Meanwhile, in a parallel narrative, Daniel’s great-grandfather, Andrew Kennedy, faces mortal danger during the horrific battle of Passchendaele. But what does the unraveling truth about the life and death of Andrew have to do with Daniel? As secrets…[more]

Book:Skippy Dies

Skippy Dies: A Novel

Paul Murray

Why does Skippy, a fourteen-year-old boy at Dublin’s venerable Seabrook College, end up dead on the floor of the local doughnut shop?

Could it have something to do with his friend Ruprecht Van Doren, an overweight genius who is determined to open a portal into a parallel universe using ten-dimensional string theory?

Could it involve Carl, the teenage drug dealer and borderline psychotic who is Skippy’s rival in love?

Or could “the Automator”—the ruthless, smooth-talking headmaster intent on modernizing the school—have something to hide?

Why Skippy dies and what happens next is the subject of this dazzling and uproarious novel, unraveling a mystery that…[more]

Book:Whatever You Love

Whatever You Love

Louise Doughty

Two police officers knock on Laura’s door and her life changes forever. They tell her that her 9-year-old daughter has been hit by a car and killed. When justice is slow to arrive, Laura decides to take her revenge & track down the man responsible.

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