Hamnet

Title: Hamnet Writer: Maggie O’Farrell Publishing House: Knopf Publishing Group Date of Publication: July 21st 2020 (first published March 31st 2020) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Then Judith is in a crowd. It is night- time, cold; the glow of lanterns punctuates the freezing dark. She thinks it is the Candlemas fair. She is in and also…

Circe

Title: Circe Writer: Madeline Miller Publishing House: Bloomsbury Publishing UK Date of Publication: April 19th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Odysseus, son of Laertes, the great traveller, prince of wiles and tricks and a thousand ways. He showed me his scars, and in return he let me pretend that I had none.’’ Greek Mythology has an…

The Mercies

Title: The Mercies Writer: Kiran Millwood Hargrave Publishing House: Picador Date of Publication: February 6th 2020  Rating: 4 stars ”The storm comes in like a finger snap. That’s how they’ll speak in the months and years after, when it stops being only an ache behind their eyes and crushing at the base of their throats….

The Vanishing

Title: The Vanishing Writer: Sophia Tobin Publishing House: Simon Schuster UK Date of Publication: June 5th 2018 (first published January 12th 2017) Rating: 4 stars ” Everything was still; no rain, only the touch of wind as I walked, with the occasional call of birds in the desolation. I looked at the reddish bracken; the…

The Cure For Dreaming

Title: The Cure For Dreaming Writer: Cat Winters Publishing House: Harry N. Abrams Date of Publication: October 14th 2014 Rating: 5 stars ”Olivia Gertrude Mead, my hope for you since the day your mother left was that you would grow up to be a rational, respectable, dignified young woman who understands her place in the world.” Olivia has problems. She…

Birdsong

Title: Birdsong Writer: Sebastian Faulks Publishing House: Vintage International Date of Publication: June 2nd 1997 (first published September 27th 1993) Rating: 5 stars “But you must live your own life eventually. You have one chance only.” A poetic, heart-breaking novel, about the atrocities of war and the hope that springs even under the most harrowing circumstances. Sebastian Faulks…

Μiss Iceland

Title: Miss Iceland (original title: Ungfrú Ísland) Writer:  Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir (translated by Brian FitzGibbon) Publishing House: Grove Atlantic Date of Publication: June 16th 2020  (first published November 2018) Rating: 5 stars ”If I die Leave the balcony open!” Farewell, Federico Garcia Lorca Hekla is a child of the 60s. A young woman full of talent, wit and kindness,…

The Bass Rock

Title: The Bass Rock Writer: Evie Wyld Publishing House: Pantheon Date of Publication: September 1st 2020 (first published February 4th 2020) Rating: 2 stars ”The crow takes off and flies to the top branches of the monkey puzzle tree. It yells at me from there.” Three women, three different eras. Sarah, Ruth, Viviane. Witchcraft, abusing relationships, loss, depressions, danger…

The Silence of the Girls

Title: The Silence of the Girls Writer: Pat Barker Publishing House: Hamish Hamilton Date of Publication:August 30th 2018 Rating:5 stars ” ‘Divine Muse, sing of the ruinous wrath of Achilles…Begin where they first quarrelled, Agamemnon the King of men and great Achilles.’ And what are they quarrelling about, these two violent, mighty souls? It’s as basic as a…

The Animals at Lockwood Manor

Title: The Animals At Lockwood Manor Writer: Jane Healey Publishing House: Mantles Date of Publication: March 10th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”Lockwood had too many empty rooms. They sat there, hushed and gaping, waiting for my mind to fill them with horrors – spectres and shadows and strange creeping creatures. And sometimes what was already there was frightening enough: empty…

Little Nothing

Title: Little Nothing Writer: Marisa Silver Publishing House: Oneworld Publications Date of Publication: March 2nd 2017 (first published September 13th 2016) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Love!’’, the woman exclaims. ‘’All anyone wants to know about is love! My God! Is there nothing more important on earth than that? Why don’t you ask the necessary questions: Will I have food in my…

The Nix

Title: The Nix Writer: Nathan Hill Publishing House: Vintage Date of Publication: May 2nd 2017  (first published August 30th 2016) Rating: 5 stars ”Αnd he used the ghost stories his mother told him, all those old Norwegian stories that terrified him. He wrote about a white horse that appeared suddenly, offering a ride, and if the reader decided to mount…

The Glass Woman

Title: The Glass Woman Writer: Caroline Lea Publishing House: Michael Joseph (Penguin Books) Date of Publication: February 7th 2019 Rating: 3 stars ”But the knowledge of the body stayed, like the blood-spattered scenes at the end of the Sagas: those age-old, heat-filled stories, which are told to children from birth and fill every Icelander with an understanding of violence.” Ιceland,…

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,…