The Familiars

Title: The Familiars Writer: Stacey Halls Publishing House: MIRA Date of Publication: February 19th 2019 (first published February 7th 2019) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Justice means fairness. Luck of prejudice.’’ I’ve always loved Pendle Hill and the stories of the women who were accused of witchcraft during one of the darkest moments in the history of Europe. The fascinating legends found…

Once Upon A River

  Title: Once Upon A River Writer: Diane Setterfield Publishing House: Penguin Random House UK Date of Publication: January 24th 2019 (first published December 4th 2018) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Around Radcot they grow the watercress, harvest it, crate it up and send it to the towns in barges, but they don’t eat it. It’s bitter, they complain, so bitter it…

Blackberry and Wild Rose

Title: Blackberry and Wild Rose Writer: Sonia Velton Publishing House: Quercus Date of Publication: January 10th 2019 Rating: 3 stars ‘’But there are no secrets in London. Even the houses lean across the narrow alleys towards each other and offer up their scandals in the blink of an open curtain.’’ A woman is trying to break the norms of…

Cornish Short Stories: A Collection of Contemporary Cornish Writing

Title: Cornish Short Stories: A Collection of Contemporary Cornish Writing Writer: Edited by Emma Timpany and Felicity Notley Publishing House: The History Press Date of Publication: April 2nd 2018 Rating: 4 stars ‘’It was an Indian summer. Everyone said so. She enjoyed the sound of the words. In her mind they conjured a burning orange sky over parched hillsides and…

Odette

Title: Odette Writer: Jessica Duchen Publishing House: Unbound Date of Publication: 29th November 2018 Ratings: 5 stars ‘’Now I talk but you don’t believe me.’’ My mother and I have a Christmas tradition that we try to follow religiously every year.  Both being avid lovers of ballet, we have associated Christmas with this beautiful form of Art. Usually,…

Dusk: Stories and Poems from Solstice Shorts Festival

Title: Dusk: Stories and Poems from Solstice Shorts Festival 2017 Writer: Edited by Cherry Potts Publishing House: Arachne Press Date of Publication: 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’On he ambles, down the avenue where the bark of the beech trees traits silvery, lichen beards. Their dark, wind-sculpted branches reach out for the sky, wild as the hair of Macbeth’s crones.’’…

Christmas Days

Title: Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days Writer: Jeanette Winterson Publishing House: Random House UK Date of Publication: November 1st 2018 (first published November 2016) Rating: 5 stars It’s Jeanette Winterson, people. I could read her shopping list and still be a happy reader. In Christmas Days we have her impeccable style and stories about Christmas. What could…

Quiet Girl in a Noisy World

Title: Quiet Girl in a Noisy World: An Introvert’s Story Writer: Debbie Tung Publishing House: Andrews McMeel Publishing Date of Publication: November 7th 2017 Rating: 5 stars Two weeks ago I read Book Love by Debbie Tung and I adored it. I couldn’t wait to read Quiet Girl in a Noisy World, a beautiful work of Art that…

The Sing of the Shore

Title: The Sing of the Shore Writer: Lucy Wood Publishing House: 4th Estate Date of Publication:  April 5th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Winters are when people disappear. One minute you’re elbow on the street, the next you walk along sidestepping nothing but the wind. Cafes put down their blinds. Houses are locked and dark. The car parks slowly empty and…

Nocturnes

Title: Nocturnes Writer: Kazuo Ishiguro Publishing House: Faber and Faber Date of Publication: May 5th 2009 Rating: 5 stars ‘’So a moment like that comes as an unwelcome reminder of how quickly things change. How the bosom pals of today become lost strangers tomorrow, scattered across Europe, playing the Godfather theme or ‘Autumn Leaves’ in squares and cafes you’ll never…

House of Glass

Title: House of Glass Writer: Susan Fletcher Publishing House: Virago Date of Publication: November 1st 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’This was the time of day my mother had warned me against, years before. The half-light, she explained, can change how things appear so that distances may seem less. Our eyes might detect movement when in fact there is none; a…

How To Be Human

Title: How To Be Human Writer: Paula Cocozza Publishing House: Metropolitan Books Date of Publication: May 9th 2017 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Focus, Mary. Don’t let him go now. So what if you’re tired and hungry. So what if you’ve crawled to the end of another miserable day in a job you hate, and tomorrow will bring only more of the…

Girl, Balancing and Other Stories

Title: Girl, Balancing & Other Stories Writer: Helen Dunmore Publishing House: Hutchinson Books Date of Publication: June 28th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ”Outside, the fog that had hung over the city for days had blown away, and there was a cold, wild look to the sky.” I found out about Helen Dunmore’s passing not long after I read her final…

Melmoth

Title: Melmoth Writer: Sarah Perry Publishing House: Serpent’s Tail Date of Publication: October 2nd 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Look! It is winter in Prague: night is rising in the mother of cities and over her thousand spires. Look down at the darkness around your feet, in all the lanes and alleys, as if it were a soft black dust; look…

The Corset

Title: The Corset Writer: Laura Purcell Publishing House: Raven Books Date of Publication: September 20th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Perhaps I do have the liberty to come and go as I please. But I do not attend for my own amusement. I came for you. To offer some comfort.’’ Jesus Christ, this book…Where do I begin? After the outstanding The…

Ghost Wall

Title: Ghost Wall Writer: Sarah Moss Publishing House: Granta Books Date of Publication: September 20th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Darkness was a long time coming.’’ This book is my first contact with Sarah Moss’s writing and it proved to be so fascinating…The word Ghost in the title, the bogs and Northumberland drew my attention to a novel that I read…

The Hoarder

Title: The Hoarder Writer: Jess Kidd Publishing House: Canongate Books Date of Publication:  February 1st 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’A dead mouse curled in a teacup, a headless ceramic dray horse, a mannequin’s pink severed limb: that sort of thing. I have a morbid bent. ‘’ It would be extremely useful if each one of us had a power squad…

The Little Snake

Title: The Little Snake Writer: A. L. Kennedy Publishing House: Canongate Books Date of Publication: 16th November 2018 Rating: 5 stars ”Nevertheless, the people in charge of the city were not overly fond of people and so some of the apartments in which the very many different kinds of people lived were often dry when they should have been wet, or wet…

The Light Between Us

Title: The Light Between Us Writer: Katie Khan Publishing House: Penguin Random House UK Date of Publication: August 9th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The planets were moving towards each other in the night sky when Isaac and Thea first met.’’ Yes, this is a wonderful combination of meaningful science-fiction and a charming relationship between two bright scholars. Yes, I enjoyed…

Everything Under

Title: Everything Under Writer: Daisy Johnson Publishing House: Penguin Random House UK Date of Publication: July 12th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The places we are born come back.’’ Sometimes, when we have the chance to read the debut work of certain writers, we know that they are destined for great things from the very first pages. Lately, this has happened…