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…

The Light In The Dark

Title: The Light In The Dark Writer: Horatio Clare Publishing House:  Elliott & Thompson Date of Publication: November 1st 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Winter in the mountains is arresting in its drama, the light melting over the Brecon Beacons as though it carries cold in it, not heat. There are the lakes of mist, too, the sun riding high…

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…

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.’’…

Winter: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons

Title: Winter: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons Writer: edited by Melissa Harrison Publishing House: Elliott & Thompson Date of Publication: October 20th 2016 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Quickly, days short, somehow we all adjust and welcome the dark, for it is neither threatening nor smothering. Darkness becomes a thing of joy and vivid beauty in its own right. When early…

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…

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…

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…

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 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…

Summer: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons

Title: Summer: An Anthology for the Changing Seasons Writer: Melissa Harrison (editor) Publishing House: Elliott & Thompson Day of Publication: May 19th 2016 Rating: 5 stars ‘’If spring is all about looking forward, and autumn about looking back, summer surely is the present moment: a long, hot now that marks the sultry climax of the year. {…} it is a…

A Murder Is Announced

  Title: A Murder Is Announced Writer: Agatha Christie Publishing House: HarperCollins Date of Publication: 2002 (first published June 1950) Rating: 5 stars ‘’People with a grudge against the world are always dangerous.’’ An idyllic village in the English countryside is waking up, its quirky residents about to start their day with their favourite newspaper, where an invitation to murder…

Bitter Orange

Title: Bitter Orange Writer: Claire Fuller Publishing House: Penguin Random UK Date of Publication: August 2nd 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Do our actions betray our nature?’’ The setting: a dilapidated mansion in the idyllic English countryside. The era: 1969, the most exciting time to be alive in recent History. The time when conventions and traditions are shuttered to make room…

The Forensic Records Society

Title: The Forensic Records Society Writer: Magnus Mills Publishing House: Bloomsbury Publishing Date of Publication: April 6th 2017 Rating: 2 stars *Being unable to find a single worthy quote in a book is telling, isn’t it?* I vividly remember my fascination with vinyl records at the age of 11-12. My generation witnessed a brief revival of these beautiful, black…