The Reading List

Sara Nisha Adams

Mukesh lives a quiet life after the loss of his wife Naina. He shops every Wednesday, sits in front of Zee TV, and cares for his granddaughter, Priya, who reads whilst he watches David Attenborough.

Aleisha is working the summer at the local library whilst her friends send her photos from their various holidays. She and her brother, Aidan, are all each other have, supporting their mother who rarely leaves the house.

One day, when clearing out a section of the library, Aleisha finds a scrunched up piece of paper in the back of a novel and realises it’s a list of books – a reading list: To Kill A Mockingbird, Rebecca, Time Traveller’s Wife, The Kite Runner, Life of Pi, Pride and Prejudice, Little Women, A Suitable Boy. She doesn’t know why, but she keeps it, tucking it into her phone case along with a discarded chicken shop stamp card, before forgetting about it.

Meanwhile, Mukesh is desperate to bond with Priya, to provide her with the same comfort that his wife once did. So he decides to visit Harrow Road library to find books to read with her like Naina used to. But on his arrival, Aleisha, frustrated to be working and unwilling to recommend him anything, turns him away. Her immediate guilt is immense, and her boss warns her to do her job, or lose it entirely, which she can’t afford.

But the list is still folded up in her phone case – could a stranger’s scribblings help save Aleisha’s job, as well as her conscience? Could it be the saving grace in Mukesh’s relationship with his granddaughter?

Could it be responsible for bringing two desperately lonely people together in their time of need?


Uplifting Fiction

UK Publication

HarperCollins / HarperFiction, Spring 2021

US Publication

HarperCollins / William Morrow, Spring 2021

Rights Sales

UK & Commonwealth: HarperCollins / HarperFiction
North American: HarperCollins / William Morrow
Arabic: Arabic Scientific Publishers
Italian: Garzanti
Russian: AST