The Foundling

Title: The Foundling Writer: Stacey Halls Publishing House: Manilla Press Date of Publication:  February 18th 2020 (paperback edition published April 7th 2020) Rating: 5 stars ”People tossed all sorts into the river, including themselves.” London, 1754. Bess is one of the unfortunate mothers who have to leave their children in the Foundling Hospital, with the desperate hope that…

Dear Mrs Bird

Title: Dear Mrs Bird Writer: A.J.Pearce Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: April 5th 2018 Rating: 4 stars ”Μrs Bird says if people get themselves into a silly pickle, they’ve only themselves to blame.” London is trying to survive in the middle of the Blitz. The Londoners are doing their best to go on with their lives, amidst the…

Lancelot

Title: Lancelot Writer: Giles Kristian Publishing House: Random House UK Date of Publication: May 31st 2018 Rating: 5 stars ”I smell the rising fog of the crowd’s breath. It warms my feathers against the thin dawn air and I watch. I feel, too. More than a bird should feel. The sorrow which lies over the assembly like a shroud….

The Bell In The Lake

  Title:The Bell In The Lake (original title: Søsterklokkene) Writer: Lars Mytting (translated by Deborah Dawkin) Publishing House:MacLehose Press Date of Publication: March 19th 2020 (first published 2018) Rating:5 stars ”The Hekne twins were young women when one fell ill. The thought of what this might mean – that the survivor would have to drag her…

The Ninth Child

Title:The Ninth Child Writer:Sally Magnusson Publishing House:John Murray Press Date of Publication:March 19th 2020 Rating: 4 stars ”’Tis thin, this place of water and stone and tree. Here meet north and south, Highland and Lowland, Gael and Scot. Here are mountains made too thin for awe; burns that idle over-prettily, the maist o’them, for the making…

The Doll Factory

Title:The Doll Factory Writer:Elizabeth Macneal Publishing House:Picador Date of Publication:May 2nd 2019 Rating:5 stars ”When the streets are at the darkest and quitest, a girl settles at a small desk in the cellar of a dollmaker’s shop. A bald china head sits in front of her and watches her with a vacant stare. She squeezes…

The Book Collector

Title: The Book Collector Writer: Alice Thompson Publishing House: Salt Publishing Date of Publication:November 5th 2015 Rating:5 stars ”Once I have owned a book I am longing for the next one. Collecting is a creative act. One of perpetual longing and desire. One is never fully fulfilled. Collections live in dread of satisfaction. There is that brief,…

Coming Up For Air

Title:Coming Up For Air Writer:Sarah Leipciger Publishing House:Doubleday Date of Publication:March 19th 2020 Rating:5 stars ”The Highlands is a melancholic place. The mountains are almost always hidden in mist and the tongues of blue that lick the sky are watery and fleeting, but there is a ballad to the landscape that exists in everything. In…

Wrecker

Title: Wrecker Writer: Noel O’Reilly Publishing House: HarperCollins Date of Publication: June 14th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ”Time had stopped and God had turned His back on the world.” Cornwall, 20 years after the Napoleonic Wars. Life in the isolated village of Porthmorvoren is hard. Living in extreme poverty, battling with the formidable weather conditions and the sea, the villagers…

Bone China

Title: Bone China Writer: Laura Purcell Publishing Books: Raven Books Date of Publication:September 19th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ”This is the bitterest winter I can recall. Too cold, even for snow. A world washed innocent and white might bring me some comfort, but no – this is the season of sleet and gunmetal skies. Everything is grey and cold….

A Spell of Winter

Title: A Spell of Winter Writer: Helen Dunmore Publishing House: Penguin Date of Publication: June 6th 2019 (first published January 1st 1995) Rating: 5 stars ‘’They were bringing my uncle Joseph down the stairs. Narrow, twisty stairs they put in houses where they’d given no thought to the living or the dead. You couldn’t get a coffin up them.’’ Helen…

By Night Under the Stone Bridge

Title: By Night Under the Stone Bridge (original title: Nachts unter der steinernen Brücke. Ein Roman aus dem alten Prag) Writer: Leo Perutz (translated by  Eric Mosbacher) Publishing House: Arcade Publishing Date of Publication: April 1st 1990  (first published 1953) Rating: 5 stars “They say a deaf man heard a dumb man talking about a blind man who saw a…

The Binding

Title: The Binding Writer: Bridget Collins Publishing House: The Borough Press Date of Publication: January 10th 2019 Rating: 4 stars ‘’I laid my hand over the bruises on my arm, fitting my fingers into the marks. The wind murmured in the thatch and drove another gust of rain against the window-pane, but the house was thick-walled, solid, as old as…

Transcription

Title: Transcription Writer: Kate Atkinson Publishing House: Black Swan Date of Publication: March 21st 2019 (first published September 6th 2018) Rating: 5 stars ”In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.” Winston Churchill 1950. Juliet is a BBC producer, responsible for the children’s zone. Intelligent, energetic and a talented writer,…

The Apple: New Crimson Petal Stories

Title: The Apple: New Crimson Petal Stories Writer: Michel Faber Publishing House: Canongate Books Ltd Date of Publication: September 7th 2006 (first published 2004) Rating: 5 stars ”Snow continues to whirl through the sky, the windowpanes rattle and creak, but still those damned partridges and turtledoves proliferate. Passerby must be tossing coins to this bawling nuisance; better they should throw…

Redemption

Title:Redemption (original title: Искупление) Writer: Friedrich Gorenstein (translated by Andrew Bromfield) Publishing House: Columbia University Press Date of Publication: October 23rd 2018 (first published January 1st 1979) Rating: 5 stars ‘’There are ten thousand lying in the porcelain factory quarries…They were killed by fascism and totalitarianism but my dear ones were killed by my neighbour with a…

Breakfast in Bogotá

Title: Breakfast in Bogotá Writer: Helen Young Publishing House: Unbound Date of Publication:August 8th 2019 Rating: 3 stars ‘’The night was crisp and filled with the sound of a thousand crickets and above this, an indigo sky purpled the horizon. Here, it might be possible to forget the city with its cramped streets and wild order.’’ 1947, Bogotá. Luke…

Springtime In a Broken Mirror

Title: Springtime in a Broken Mirror (original title Primavera con una esquina rota) Writer: Mario Benedetti (translated by Nick Caistor) Publishing House: Penguin Books Ltd Date of Publication: April 30th 2019 first published 1982 Rating: 3 stars ‘’Tonight I am alone. […] I can think more clearly. I don’t have to screen myself off to think of you. You’ll say…

Klotsvog

Title: Klotsvog Writer: Margarita Khemlin (translated by Lisa C. Hayden) Publishing House: Columbia University Press Date of Publication:August 27th 2019 (first published 2009) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Though I had nobody to call, I often picked it up and said whatever came into my head, paying no attention to the piercing dial tone inside the receiver. I could dial…

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…