(Bloomsbury Circus, £12.99, ebook £8.51)

SHORTLISTED for the Costa First Novel Award for her 2011 debut Pao, Kerry Young returns with Gloria, which is based in 1960s Jamaica and begins with a rape. After escaping from the countryside where she grew up, and the crime she committed, 16-year-old Gloria and her younger sister Marcia arrive in Kingston to start a new life.

With no education, and desperate for money, Gloria is forced into prostitution.

As she’s introduced to the city’s criminal underworld, her past becomes ever-present, shaping not only her life, but affecting her young daughter Esther’s.

But it’s brothel owner and female rights activist Sybil who inspires Gloria to prevent Esther’s life mirroring her own.

Gloria is a brilliant, observant, sometimes complex read, but with clear and simple messages, it speaks to the feminist and equal rights campaigner in all of us.

Vicky Burt