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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

2017 Costa Book Awards

Here are two works of fiction to check out; they’re the winners of the Novel and First Novel categories of the Costa Book Awards.  The Costa Book Awards is one of the UK's most prestigious and popular literary prizes and recognizes books written by authors based in the UK and Ireland.  Uniquely, the prize has five categories - First Novel, Novel, Biography, Poetry and Children's Book - with one of the five winning books selected as the overall Costa Book of the Year.  It is the only prize which places children’s books alongside adult books in this way. 

Novel Category Winner:
Reservoir 13 by Roy McGregor
Midwinter in the early years of this century.  A teenage girl on holiday has gone missing in the hills at the heart of England.  The villagers are called up to join the search, fanning out across the moors as the police set up roadblocks and a crowd of news reporters descends on their usually quiet home.  Meanwhile, there is work that must still be done: cows milked, fences repaired, stone cut, pints poured, beds made, sermons written, a pantomime rehearsed.  The search for the missing girl goes on, but so does everyday life.  As it must.  Reservoir 13 explores the rhythms of the natural world and the repeated human gift for violence, unfolding over thirteen years as the aftershocks of a stranger’s tragedy refuse to subside.

First Novel Category Winner:
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Meet Eleanor Oliphant struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she's thinking.  Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding unnecessary human contact, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.  But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen, the three rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living.  Ultimately, it is Raymond's big heart that will help Eleanor find the way to repairing her own profoundly damaged one.

For more information about winning books and authors, go to https://www.costa.co.uk/media/487568/2017-awards.pdf.

The Costa Book of the Year will be announced on January 30, 2018.