The Costa Book Awards winners 2018

Congratulations to the winners of the 2018 Costa Book Awards.

These awards honour some of the most outstanding books of the year written by authors based in the UK and Ireland, across five different categories. One of the five category winners will also be named Book of the Year at a ceremony in London on January 29.


costa2019seven

First novel

The winner is The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton.

At a party thrown by her parents, Evelyn Hardcastle will be killed – again. She’s been murdered hundreds of times, and each day Aidan Bishop is too late to save her. The only way to break this cycle is to identify Evelyn’s killer. But every time the day begins again, Aidan wakes in the body of a different guest. And someone is desperate to stop him ever escaping Blackheath…

What the judges said: This ingenious, intriguing and highly original mindbender of a murder mystery gripped us all. We were all stunned that this exciting and accomplished novel, planned and plotted perfectly, is a debut. Fresh, enticing and completely unputdownable.


costa2019normal

Novel

The winner is Normal People by Sally Rooney.

Connell and Marianne grow up in the same small town in rural Ireland, but the similarities end there. In school, Connell is popular and well-liked, while Marianne is a loner who has learnt from painful experience to stay away from her classmates. When the two strike up a conversation in Marianne’s kitchen – awkward but electrifying – something life-changing begins.

What the judges said: “A trailblazing novel about modern life and love that will electrify any reader.


costa2019cutout

Biography

The winner is The Cut Out Girl by Bart van Es.

The last time Lien saw her parents was in The Hague, when she was collected at the door by a stranger and taken to a foster family far away to be hidden from the Nazis. What was her side of the story, Bart van Es – a grandson of the couple who looked after Lien – wondered? What really happened during the war, and after? So began an investigation that would consume and transform both Bart van Es’s life and Lien’s.

What the judges said: The hidden gem of the year. Sensational and gripping, and shedding light on some of the most urgent issues of our time, this was our unanimous winner.


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Poetry

The winner is Assurances by J.O. Morgan.

A war-poem both historic and frighteningly topical, Assurances begins in the 1950s during a period of vigilance and dread in the middle of the Cold War: the long stand-off between nuclear powers, where the only defence was the threat of mutually-assured destruction. This is an intimate, dramatic work for many voices – lyrical, anxious, fragmentary and terrifying.

What the judges said: We were all gripped by this polyphonic book-length poem and dazzled by its originality and inventiveness.


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Children’s books

The winner is The Skylarks' War by Hilary McKay.

Clarry and her older brother Peter live for their summers in Cornwall, staying with their grandparents and running free with their charismatic cousin, Rupert. But normal life resumes each September – boarding school for Peter and Rupert, and a boring life for Clarry at home with her absent father, as the shadow of a terrible war looms ever closer. When Rupert goes off to fight at the front, Clarry feels their skylark summers are finally slipping away from them.

What the judges said: As perfect a novel as you could ever want to read.


Read more about the Costa book awards here.

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Normal People

Normal People

Sally Rooney

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