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…

In the Shadow of Wolves

Title: In the Shadow of Wolves (original title Mano vardas – Marytė) Writer: Alvydas Šlepikas tr. by Romas Kinka Publishing House: Oneworld Publications Date of Publication: June 6th 2019 Rating:2 stars ‘’People appear as if emerging through a mist, a snowstorm, a winter fog; they grow dark, casting a shadow on the trampled, blood-soaked earth, and then are gone.’’…

The Hotel Tito

Title: The Hotel Tito (original title Hotel Zagorje) Writer: Ivana Simić Bodrožić Publishing House: Seven Stories Press UK Date of Publication: September 21st 2017  (first published 2010) Rating: 1 star Some of my favourite writers are Croatian. Talented, intelligent people whose objective view on such a delicate matter as the 1990s conflicts delivers stories that are heartfelt, evocative and…

Captain Rosalie

Title: Captain Rosalie Writer:  Timothée de Fombelle, illustration by Isabelle Arsenault (tr. by Sam Gordon) Publishing House: Candlewick Press Date of Publication: June 11th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Dogs bark in the distance, out there by the farms. The dead leaves whistle their way across the school yard.’’ 1917, a cold autumn day in France. WWI has darkened Europe….

Russian Easter Stories

Title: ΡΩΣΙΚΕΣ ΠΑΣΧΑΛΙΝΕΣ ΙΣΤΟΡΙΕΣ Writer: Various edited by Laura Averbukh Publishing House: ΝΑΡΚΙΣΣΟΣ Date of Publication: March 2005 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Yes…today there is happiness…’’, Ieronimus said in a weak voice, like a sick man who has just started recovering. ‘’There is joy in the heavens and the earth, even in Hell itself. The whole creation rejoices. Yet, tell…

Μystical Britain and Ireland

Title: Mystical Britain and Ireland Writer: Richard Jones (photography by John Mason) Publishing House: New Holland Australia Date of Publication: August 10th 2006 (first published 2003) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Those who pace its lanes and squares may yet hear the echoes of their footsteps on the sounding stones and read upon its gates…’’Who enters here leaves noise behind.’’ Charles Dickens…

Flights

Title: Flights (original title: Bieguni ) Writer: Olga Tokarczuk (translated by Jennifer Croft) Publishing House: Fitzcarraldo Editions Date of Publication: May 17th 2017 (first published September 2007) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Each of my pilgrimages aims at some other pilgrim. In this case the pilgrim is in pieces, broken down.’’ This might very well be the first time that I have…

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…

Belladonna

Title: Belladonna Writer: Daša Drndić (translated by Celia Hawkesworth) Publishing House: New Directions Date of Publication: October 24th 2017 (first published November 1st 2012) Rating: 5 stars ‘’And the wind brought people who had let their plows rust; solitary people tiling the sky, reaping the harvests of summer nights, the fat grain of early straws, leaving it all unwinnowed. Instead…

In the Full Light of the Sun

Title: In the Full Light of the Sun Writer: Clare Clark Publishing House: Virago Date of Publication: February 28th 2019 Rating: 1 star ‘’You think knowing you can never change that the rottenness is too deep – rooted in you, that it’s part of who you are, you think that makes anything better, that it stops the guilt, the…

Visitation

Title: Visitation (original title Heimsuchung) Writer: Jenny Erpenbeck (translated by Susan Bernofsky) Publishing House: New Directions Date of Publication: September 30th 2010 (first published February 2nd 2008) Rating: 5 stars ‘’In a household where a death has taken place, the clock must be stopped at once.’’ It is easy to stop the clocks when Death has arrived in a house. The…

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…

A Gentleman In Moscow

Title: A Gentleman In Moscow Writer: Amor Towles Publishing House: Penguin Random House Date of Publication:  September 6th 2016 Rating: 5 stars ‘’On Saturday, the twenty-first of June 1946, as the sun rose high over the Kremlin, a lone figure climbed slowly up the steps from the Moskva River embankment, continued past St.Basil’s Cathedral, and made his way onto…

The Invention of Ana

Title: The Invention of Ana Writer: Mikkel Rosengaard (translated by  Caroline Waight) Publishing House: Custom House Date of Publication: February 13th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’They never went hungry, but there was no electricity, and she remembered the long, dark evenings in the apartment, the afternoons when there was so little to do that she was reduced to padding at…

Bottled Goods

Title: Bottled Goods Writer: Sophie van Llewyn Publishing House: Fairlight Books Date of Publication: July 11th 2018 Rating: 5 stars *If you attempt any political comments, think again. You can’t win an argument with me, thank you.’’ ‘’Twenty years later, an icon of the Saviour will hang in this spot, but in 1975, it’s Ceaușescu’s depiction that the…

The Blue

Title: The Blue Writer: Nancy Bilyeau Publishing House: Endeavour Quill Date of Publication: December 3rd 2018 Rating: 3 stars ‘’London is alive. And so am I.’’ 18th century, England. Genevieve comes from a Huguenot family that found shelter in England, persecuted in their own country due to their religious beliefs. In a time when the war with France is raging,…

Fox

Title: Fox Writer: Dubravka Ugrešić (tr. by Ellen Elias-Bursać and  David Williams Publishing House: Open Letter Date of Publication: April 17th 2018 (first published June 2017) Rating: 5 stars ‘’We are all footnotes, many of us will never have the chance to be read, all of us in an unrelenting and desperate struggle for our lives, for the life of…

Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall

Title: Stasiland: Stories from Behind the Berlin Wall Writer: Anna Funder Publishing House: Granta Books (UK) Date of Publication: June 9th 2003 Rating: 5 stars *Any political comments will receive the axe. Don’t try to provoke me, you’ll fail miserably.* ‘’Peter Fechter, the eighteen-year- old shot trying to escape in 1962 and left to die on the death strip, because…

Girl At War

Title: Girl At War Writer: Sara Nović Publishing House: Random House Date of Publication: May 12th 2015 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Of course we want to go back. Of course we’re going home.’’ Home…Where is this ‘’home’’ when the land where you’ve spent all your life is about to witness violence, desolation, and death? Where is this ‘’home’’ when the people…

Aller Tage Abend (The End of Days)

Title: Aller Tage Abend (The End of Days) Writer: Jenny Erpenbeck (translated by Susan Bernofsky) Publishing House: Knaus / New Directions Date of Publication: November 11th 2014 (first published August 20th 2012) Rating: 5 stars ‘’The Lord gave and the Lord took away, her grandmother said to her at the edge of the grave. But that wasn’t right, because the…