The Turn of the Screw

Title: The Turn of the Screw Writer: Henry James Publishing House: Penguin Popular Classics Date of Publication: 1994  (first published October 1898) Rating: 5 stars “I seemed to float not into clearness, but into a darker obscure, and within a minute there had come to me out of my very pity the appalling alarm of his perhaps being innocent. It…

Bellman & Black

Title: Bellman & Black Writer: Diane Setterfield Publishing House: Atria Date of Publication: November 5th 2013 Rating: 5 stars ‘’In the few minutes since the boys had left the place, rooks had come. They circled above the oak, fifteen or twenty of them. More were arriving from all directions. They stretched across the sky, loose skeins of dark marks, converging…

Gingerbread

Title: Gingerbread Writer: Robert Dinsdale Publishing House: Harper Collins Date of Publication: February 13th 2014 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Once, all of the world was covered in forests. But, slowly, over the years, those forests were driven back – by people just like us. They chopped them down to make timber, and burned them to make farms. But this little corner…

Paper Butterfly

Title: Paper Butterfly Writer: Diane Wei Liang Publishing House: Simon & Schuster Date of Publication: January 1st 2008 Rating: 5 stars ‘’This land offered nothing but harsh wind and dry yellow earth. Under the dome of the sky, snow-peaked mountains stood like unwanted burdens of the past. This was the province where the Great Wall ended, where the Silk Road…

Things In Jars

Title: Things in Jars Writer: Jess Kidd Publishing House: Canongate Books Date of Publication: April 4th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Below her, streets and lanes, factories and workhouses, parks and prisons, ground houses and tenements, roofs, chimneys and tree tops. And the winding, sometimes shining, Thames- the sky’s own dirty mirror. The raven leaves the river behind and charts a…

Dracul

Title: Dracul Writer: Dacre Stoker, J.D. Barker Publishing House: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Date of Publication: October 2nd 2018 Rating: 2 stars ‘’A crescent moon dangling in the sky offered the thinnest of illuminations, bathing the world in nothing but faint outlines, silhouettes, and shadows. The tower of Artane Castle was barely visible in the distance, lost behind rolling hills and…

I Who Have Never Known Men

Title: I Who Have Never Known Men (original title:Moi qui n’ai pas connu les hommes) Writer: Jacqueline Harpman Publishing House: Penguin Random House UK Date of Publication: May 2nd 2019 (first published 1995) Rating: 5 stars ‘’My memory begins with anger.’’ Yes, I found a Dystopian novel I love more than 1984 and The Handmaid’s Tale. Forty women live…

The Poison Bed

Title: The Poison Bed Writer: Elizabeth Fremantle Publishing House: Penguin UK Date of Publication: June 14th 2018 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Whether we fall by ambition, blood, or lust Like diamonds, we are cut with our own dust.’’             The Duchess of Malfi, John Webster May I just say that this is one of the most intriguing front covers I’ve ever seen?…

Wakenhyrst

Title: Wakenhyrst Writer: Michelle Paver Publishing House: Head of Zeus Date of Publication: April 11th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’The reeds stood tall and dead: I had the oddest feeling they wanted me gone. The light was failing. I caught a swampy smell of decay. Behind me something rustles and I saw the reeds part for some unseen creature. I…

Lanny

Title: Lanny Writer: Max Porter Publishing House: Faber & Faber Date of Publication: March 7th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’It would have been the head of a dolphin and the wings of a peregrine, and it would be a storm-watching beast, watching the weather while we sleep.’’ Max Porter’s Grief is the Thing with Feathers has been on my list…

False Bingo: Stories

Title: False Bingo: Stories Writer: Jac Jemc Publishing House: Farrar, Straus and Giroux Date of Publication: October 8th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’I am a problem without a solution. I am a question without an answer. I am a poison without an antidote. I will never know what it is I’ve done.’’ I fell under Jac Jemc’s spell what I…

Fear and His Servant

Title: Fear and His Servant   (original title: Strah i njegov sluga ) Writer: Mirjana Novaković Publishing House: Peter Owen Publishers (originally published by Beograd:ReVision Publishing) Date of Publication:  April 1st 2018 (first published 1999) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Like everyone else, I want gifts that come from the heart, the gift without a price. I’ve wondered this earth for such a long…

The Dollmaker

Title: The Dollmaker Writer: Nina Allan Publishing House: Quercus Books Date of Publication: April 4th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’In 21 cases there was death but no burial; in 10, funerals but no burials; in 8, funerals but no death.’’ Dolls never found a top spot in my favourite toys list. My mum didn’t like them at all but my…

Wailing Ghosts

Title: Wailing Ghosts Writer: Pu Songling Publishing House: Penguin Classics Date of Publication: February 26th 2015 (first published 1740) Rating: 5 stars ‘’I can make the seasons go backwards, and turn the order of nature upside down.’’ Pu Songling’s best known work is a collection of haunting stories with the title Strange Tales from a Chinese Studio. I chose to…

The Snakes

Title: The Snakes Writer: Sadie Jones Publishing House: Random House UK Date of Publication:March 7th 2019 Rating: 4 stars ‘’We were a family and now we’re not any more. We’re the wrong number. It’s all wrong. I can’t cry. I can’t.’’ The times we live in are uncertain, turbulent, obscure. Financial insecurity, fear caused by leaders who dream of…

A Cat, A Hat and a Piece of String

Title: A Cat, A Hat and A Piece Of String Writer: Joanne Harris Publishing House: Black Swan Date of Publication: January 16th 2014 (first published November 8th 2012) Rating: 4 stars ‘’I see now that there can be no leaving. I am a broken clock, frozen forever at an impossible hour. Let others move on, if they must, if they…

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…

The World of Lore: Dreadful Places

Title: The World of Lore: Dreadful Places Writer: Aaron Mahnke Publishing House: Del Rey Books Date of Publication: October 9th 2018 Rating: 2 stars ‘’Staring into the now-open cell, his heart froze. The walls inside, he said, were covered with faces. Dozens and dozens of faces, their expressions writhing with agony and horror.’’ The second installment in Aaron Mahnke’s series…

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…

Christmas Dinner

Title: Χριστουγεννιάτικο Δέιπνο Writer: Various Publishing House: Νάρκισσος Date of Publication: November 2012 Rating: 5 stars ‘’…Paris with the snow falling. Paris with the big charcoal braziers outside the cafes, glowing red. At the cafe tables, men huddled, their coat collars turned up, while they finger glasses of grog Americain and the newsboys shout the evening papers. The buses rumble…