This book has been crowned the Costa Book of the Year

The Costa Book Awards has been crowning the most worthy books of the year written by British and Irish authors since 1971. Previous winners have included Hilary Mantel’s Bringing up the Bodies, Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Philip Pullman’s The Amber Spyglass, so winning this esteemed accolade immediately places an author within good company.

There are five categories within the Cost Book Awards: best novel, best first novel, best biography, best poetry and best children’s book, as well as the grand overarching title of Book of the Year. While the first five categories were announced earlier this month, Costa’s Book of the Year has just been announced, and you’re going to want to add it to your TBR (to be read) pile ASAP.

See below for the full line-up of Costa Book Awards winners.

The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey

Winner of the 2020 Costa Book of the Year and 2020 Costa Novel Award

The mermaid of black conch
Peepal Tree Press

The Mermaid of Black Conch, £9.99, Peepal Tree Press

Costa says: ‘April 1976: St Constance, a tiny Caribbean village on the island of Black Conch. David, a fisherman, sings to himself in his pirogue, waiting for a catch – and attracts a sea-dweller he doesn’t expect. Aycayia, a centuries old mermaid, is drawn to his singing. But her curiosity is her undoing when she is caught by American tourists… David rescues her and hides her away, where she slowly, painfully turns into a woman.’

Love After Love by Ingrid Persaud

Winner of the 2020 Costa First Novel Award

Love After Love

Love After Love, £7.49 (was £8.99), Waterstones

Costa says: ‘Irrepressible Betty Ramdin, her shy son Solo and their marvellous lodger, Mr Chetan, form an unconventional household. Happy in their differences, they build a home together. Home: the place keeping these three safe from an increasingly dangerous world – until the night when a glass of rum, a heart to heart and a terrible truth explodes the family unit, driving them apart.’

The Louder I Will Sing by Lee Lawrence

Winner of the 2020 Costa Biography Award

The Louder I Will Sing

The Louder I Will Sing, £9.89, Amazon

Costa says: ‘On 28th September 1985, Lee Lawrence’s mother Cherry Groce was wrongly shot by police during a raid on her home. The bullet shattered her spine and both their lives changed forever. The Louder I Will Sing is a memoir about growing up in modern Britain as a young Black man. It’s a story both of people and politics, but also the positive power that hope, faith and love can bring in response.’

The Historians by Eavan Boland

Winner of the 2020 Costa Poetry Award

The Historians

The Historians, £8.19, Amazon

Costa says: ‘Throughout her nearly sixty-year career, acclaimed poet Eavan Boland came to be known for her exquisite ability to weave myth, history and the life of an ordinary woman into mesmerising poetry. Her final volume, The Historians, is the culmination of her signature themes, exploring the ways in which the hidden, sometimes all-but-erased stories of women’s lives can powerfully revise our sense of the past.’

Voyage of the Sparrowhawk by Natasha Farrant

Winner of the 2020 Costa Children’s Book Award

voyage of the sparrow hawk

Voyage of the Sparrowhawk, £6.49 (was £7.99), Waterstones

Costa says: ‘Voyage of the Sparrowhawk is an epic journey of police chases, storms at sea and unexpected puppies. Set in the aftermath of World War 1 it follows two orphans as they take their narrowboat across the Channel in search of lost loved ones and a place to call home.’