The next book to be featured on the Jo Whiley Radio 2 Book Club will be Nightingale Point, the powerful debut novel by Luan Goldie. It is released on 25 July and Luan will be on the show on Monday 8 July.
We have the chance for you to win 10 copies of this fantastic novel for your reading group! Please enter by Friday 12 July.
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Find out about all of the books being featured this season.
On an ordinary Saturday morning in 1996, the residents of Nightingale Point wake up to their normal lives and worries.
Mary has a secret life that no one knows about, not even Malachi and Tristan, the brothers she vowed to look after. Malachi had to grow up too quickly. Between looking after Tristan and nursing a broken heart, he feels older than his twenty-one years. Tristan wishes Malachi would stop pining for Pamela. No wonder he’s falling in with the wrong crowd, without Malachi to keep him straight. Elvis is trying hard to remember to the instructions his care worker gave him, but sometimes he gets confused and forgets things. Pamela wants to run back to Malachi but her overprotective father has locked her in and there’s no way out.
It’s a day like any other, until something extraordinary happens. When the sun sets, Nightingale Point is irrevocably changed and somehow, through the darkness, the residents must find a way back to lightness, and back to each other.
Selection panel review
The book was selected with the help of a panel of library staff from across the UK. Our readers loved Nightingale Point – here are some of their comments:
“What a huge tale. At first it felt too much like a knee jerk reaction to recent events. Set in a tower block which is destroyed by fire. It is only the epilogue which explains that the story was conceived and written well before Grenfell. Each chapter follows a different resident of the tower block Nightingale Point from before the ‘incident’ through the immediate aftermath and the months and years afterward. Every chapter is equally powerful to portray feelings and emotions felt by individual residents. Letting us see into the lives behind each closed door of the neighbours, their hopes and dreams as they all live together but totally separate, and how a tragedy either heals or hardens attitudes. A great book, as one can relate to all human emotions.”
“The narrative of a disaster, those who die and those who survive, then the grief, anger and resilience are all done really well and I found myself very much involved in the story. I felt the relationships and the emotions were done convincingly and the characters develop as time progresses.”
“The story focuses on the lives of people who live in a high-rise block of flats before and then after it is hit by a cargo plane. The stories are so well told and the characters are so well described they stay with you. Although the book is set in the 1990s the issues tacked are still valid today and speak to a modern readership. Racism, mental well-being, the role of women and relationships. There are a variety of main characters woven through the story so there is something to appeal to all readers, teenagers and adults. The book is really sensitively portrayed and references a real-life incident in Amsterdam involving a cargo plane and block of flats and also Grenfell in an author’s note at the back of the book. The story is excellently paced and very well structured. I just couldn’t stop reading it, it reads so well and was a pleasure to read.”
About the author
Luan Goldie is a primary school teacher, and formerly a business journalist. She has written several short stories and is the winner of the Costa Short Story Award 2018 for her story Two Steak Bakes and Two Chelsea Buns. She was also shortlisted for the London Short Story Prize in 2018 and the Grazia/Orange First Chapter competition in 2012, and was chosen to take part in the Almasi League, an Arts Council-funded mentorship programme for emerging writers of colour. Nightingale Point is her debut novel.
Tune in to Jo Whiley’s show on Monday 8 July to hear a live interview with Luan.You can see what other readers thought or add the book to your group’s reading list.
Planning to buy Nightingale Point for your group? Buy books from Hive and support The Reading Agency and local bookshops at no extra cost to you.