During these scary and uncertain times, we can always rely on a good story to help us get through. Books can distract, entertain, and transport us to entirely different worlds, which is why they're so special, particularly right now. And if you're looking for a new book to read, the Women's Prize for Fiction shortlist has been announced, and there are some absolute corkers on the list from the likes of Bernardine Evaristo and Hilary Mantel.
Notably, Dame Hillary Mantel's final book (The Mirror and the Light) in her trio about Thomas Cromwell's life has been nominated for the award. The book explores the life of Henry VIII's close advisor, and is a must for history buffs.
Also in the running is Bernardine Evaristo's Booker Prize-winning Girl, Woman, Other; a ground-breaking book which follows the lives of 12 British women across different generations and classes.
Joining these two impressive books are another four. First up is Dominicana by Angie Cruz, which follows the story of a 15-year-old Ana, who marries a much older man to enable her family to move to the US, and captures the immigrant experience.
Second is A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes, which, from a female perspective, tells the story of the Trojan War, and third is Hamnet by Maggie O'Farrell, which tells a (fictionalised) version of the life of Shakespeare's only son, who died at age 11.
In addition to these historical books, the last nomination is for Weather by Jenny Offill, which explores climate change anxiety in a family.
Speaking about the books nominated, Chair of the judging panel for the prize Baroness Martha Lane Fox, explained: "We are all living in challenging, sad and complex times so incredible stories provide hope, a moment of escape and a point of connection now more than ever."
The winner of the prize will be announced on September 9, 2020 at a London award ceremony, which was originally supposed to happen on 3 June but has had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.