Spalding bookshop’s pick for a good read

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Bookmark in Spalding has chosen A Snow Garden & Other Stories by Rachel Joyce as its book of the week.

In the course of a fortnight at the end of a year a woman finds a cure for a broken heart where she least expects it.

A husband and wife build their son a bicycle and, in the process, deconstruct their happy marriage; freak weather brings the airport to a standstill on Christmas Day; a young woman will change her life by saying one word.

Here are seven linked stories. Each of them is a small masterpiece, but as one character steps forward and another steps back, it is in the way they interweave that Rachel Joyce pinpoints much of the humour and tragedy of our everyday experiences. With hallmarks that made her first book, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, so exceptional, A Snow Garden & Other Stories celebrates heroism in the most unassuming of figures and finds significance in small moments that can change everything. Compelling and rewarding, tender and funny, it portrays family relationships at a time of year that should be joyous but is so often tangled and painful, reminding us there is a bigger story behind the one we first see.

The book retails for £9.99 but there is a 20 per cent discount voucher in the Spalding Guardian of December 10.