Brilliant debut novels you don't want to miss this summer

By Penguin

By Penguin

From historical tales to modern life dramas, laugh-out-loud love stories to fiendishly twisting thrillers – whatever your taste in novels, we have some perfect new voices to enjoy a well-earned break with this year. Read more about the books and authors on

Interviews with an Ape

Felice Fallon

£14.99 £13.94

'An unusually powerful book - and a timely one too.' Michael Palin

Nightbitch: Stylist's summer 2021 cult breakout

Rachel Yoder

£14.99 £13.94

A bold story of the experiences, loneliness and isolation in early motherhood

Teeth in the Back of my Neck

Monika Radojevic

£10.00 £9.30

A poetry collection from the inaugural winner of the Merky Books Prize

We Are All Birds of Uganda

Hafsa Zayyan

£14.99 £13.94

'A remarkably accomplished, polished debut.' Malorie Blackman

Cunning Women: A feminist tale of forbidden love amid the witch trials

Elizabeth Lee

£14.99 £13.94

A captivating tale of a family's survival during the Pendle Witch Trials

Dangerous Women: The compelling and beautifully written mystery about friendship, secrets and redemption

Hope Adams

£14.99 £13.94

A twisting thriller and a captivating love story on board a 19th century convict ship from London to Australia

The Dictionary of Lost Words: The International Bestseller

Pip Williams

£14.99 £13.94

In 1901, the word 'bondmaid' was discovered missing from the Oxford English Dictionary. This is the story of the girl who stole it.

The Mad Women's Ball: The prize-winning French bestseller

Victoria Mas

£14.99 £13.94

'A darkly delightful Gothic treasure exploring grief, trauma and sisterhood' Paula Hawkins

When They Find Her: The gripping new thriller that will take your breath away

Lia Middleton

£14.99 £13.94

A missing daughter and a mother who is lying to everyone including herself in this gripping thriller.

Damage: An unputdownable and emotionally gripping debut with a twist you won't see coming

Caitlin Wahrer

£14.99 £13.94

A psychological thriller exploring how far ordinary people will go to protect their family.


Natasha Brown

£12.99 £12.08

'I'm full of the hope, on reading it, that this is the kind of book that doesn't just mark the moment things change, but also makes that change possible' Ali Smith

The Paper Palace: The New York Times Number One Bestseller

Miranda Cowley Heller

£14.99 £13.94

'The Paper Palace is as dark and uncompromising as it is tender and lyrical.' Rachel Joyce

Before My Actual Heart Breaks

Tish Delaney

£14.99 £13.94

A tender and funny story of a young girl navigating life at the height of The Troubles in Northern Ireland

This Shining Life: a powerful novel about treasuring life

Harriet Kline

£14.99 £13.94

'An exquisitely beautiful and compelling novel about love, loss and life' Rachel Joyce

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot: The best uplifting book club read of 2021

Marianne Cronin

£14.99 £13.94

A friendship blossoms between two women brought together on a terminal ward

An Experiment in Leisure

Anna Glendenning

£14.99 £13.94

'Shows us the burning, intense, messy beauty of youth and what it means to be alive' Maxine Peake

Fragile Monsters

Catherine Menon

£14.99 £13.94

'Supple, artful, skilful storytelling - it takes an immediate grip on the reader's imagination and doesn't let go' Hilary Mantel

King of Rabbits

Karla Neblett

£14.99 £13.94

The story of Kai, who finds sanctuary in the woods away from his dysfunctional family.

The Summer Job: The most feel-good romcom of 2021 soon to be a TV series

Lizzy Dent

£12.99 £12.08

Birdy Finch accepts a summer position as a sommelier at a swanky Scottish Hotel. The problem is that Birdy is not a world-class wine expert.

The Funny Thing about Norman Foreman

Julietta Henderson

£12.99 £12.08

'As moving as it is funny. And it's very funny' Romesh Ranganathan

The Mismatch: An unforgettable story of first love

Sara Jafari

£7.99 £7.43

A mother and daughter find peace in their life choices

The Idea of You: The scorching hot Richard & Judy love affair that will leave you obsessed!

Robinne Lee

£7.99 £7.43

Sparks fly when a 39-year old divorcee hooks up with her daughter's favourite boyband front man.

Another Life: The stunning love story and BBC2 Between the Covers pick

Jodie Chapman

£14.99 £13.94

'An astounding debut about sibling grief, religion and sliding doors love' Pandora Sykes

Dog Days: 'A hopeful, moving story about three characters you'll never forget'

Ericka Waller

£14.99 £13.94

One for lovers of canines, unpredictable plots and brilliantly drawn characters

No Such Thing As Perfect

Emma Hughes

£12.99 £12.08

A sharply-observed look at the complexities of dating in the digital age.

The First Day Of Spring

Nancy Tucker

£12.99 £12.08

'An exceptional debut which both chilled and moved me from the very first page. I cannot overstate how much I loved this book.' Clare Mackintosh

Open Water

Caleb Azumah Nelson

£12.99 £12.08

'An unforgettable debut... it's Sally Rooney meets Michaela Coel meets Teju Cole' New York Times

Acts of Desperation: A Stylist Book of 2021 and The Times bestseller

Megan Nolan

£14.99 £13.94

Toxic relationships and secret female desire are explored by an emerging star of Irish literature

Three Rooms

Jo Hamya

£12.99 £12.08

A brilliantly observed story of what it means to be a young person in today's world

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