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Loved Lisa Taddeo's Three Women? Her new short story collection doesn't disappoint

If there's a recent author whose portrayal of the sexual and emotional lives of women sticks with us – garnering a cult following along the way – it's Lisa Taddeo. Her 2019 non-fiction bestseller Three Women detailed the complicated relationship between female sexuality and desire, followed by last year's novel Animal which centred on rage, power and abuse. Now Ghost Lover (Bloomsbury), Taddeo's new collection of nine short stories, puts the spotlight on society's expectation of women, beauty, trauma and obsession, spotlighting characters in their 20s, 30s and 40s from the 1960s to present day.

"There are some things as women that we don't say out loud to ourselves or others, but we think – all the time," says Stylist Loves writer Kiran Meeda. "Ghost Lover delves into these unspoken moments about our collective desire to be 'beautiful' and our anger at certain situations with men and rejection, with such honesty and rawness. Whether it's the character breakdown of Forty Two's Joan, a picture-perfect model of a woman doing everything right, or promiscuous Miranda in 1960s Italy leaving a relationship that no longer serves her, there's no denying the relatability of these anti-heroines. It's comforting to know you're not alone in the expectation to be simultaneously put together and messy when you read this collection." £16.98, Bookshop.org

Read an extract here

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Soho's new open fire restaurant is full of inventive flavours and Mediterranean vibes

Now that British summertime is finally here (hello, heatwave), it's inevitable that sunny evenings will be occupied by herculean efforts to light the BBQ. But if you have a troubled relationship with firelighters, we suggest heading to Firebird instead. The new open fire restaurant and natural wine bar from St Peterburg's esteemed restaurateurs Madina Kazhimova and Anna Dolgushina is transporting diners to the Med with a menu that revolves around the power of the flame.

"It's no mean feat to take a sliver of square footage in Soho and create a space where you feel like you've stepped foot onto a Greek island, but somehow, Firebird has pulled it off," says Stylist's digital entertainment editor Christobel Hastings. "The restaurant is all wood, terracotta and artful lighting; sitting by the grill gives you a great view of the chefs corralling the coals. After starting with sourdough focaccia, choux buns with chicken liver pate, smoky chicken skewers and grilled halloumi with Greek honey and truffle, we promptly ordered seconds because they were so exquisite. Next came glazed pork belly with potato salad and plum ketchup, and chicken breast with bacon jam and oyster mushrooms. We didn't think we had room for dessert, until we saw them: hazelnut praline cream and coffee cake and the prettiest honeycomb and strawberry éclair, which were washed down with a baked banana old-fashioned. The flavour combinations are inventive, the vibes are right and the satisfaction of consuming all things torched, scorched and smoked without lifting a finger is second to none. Just be sure to go with an empty stomach." 29 Poland St, London, W1F


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