A Nail, A Rose and Other Stories

Title: A Nail, A Rose and Other Stories (original title Sept Nouvelles) Writer: Madeleine Bourdouxhe (translated by Faith Evans) Publishing House: Pushkin Press Date of Publication: October 1st 2019 (first published 1985) Rating:  5 stars ‘’All around them, the earth was black and white. A beautiful winter night-smell rose up from the black and white earth. A…

I Am Heathcliff

Title: I Am Heathcliff: Stories Inspired by Wuthering Heights Writer: Various curated by Kate Mosse Publishing House: The Borough Press Date of Publication: July 26th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Archetypes. Stories that seem bigger than the books that contain them. Wuthering Heights is such a book. Cathy and Heathcliff are such characters.’’ I have longed and dreaded to read this…

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 Doll’s Alphabet

Τitle: The Doll’s Alphabet Writer: Camilla Grudova Publishing House: Coffee House Press Date of Publication: October 17th 2017 (first published February 14th 2017) Rating: 5 stars ‘’A woman discovered that a bunch of her jewels had faces carved into them, someone else a gargoyle tattoo on their back, and a car was found with three stone kings sitting inside.’’ I…

Brute

Title: Brute: Poems Writer: Emily Skaja Publishing House: Graywolf Press Date of Publication: April 2nd 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’I am sewn into a dress. On Broad Street, ravens Lurk on the Divine Lorraine Hotel.’’ A striking front cover depiction Gleipnir and Fenrir by Walton Ford is a telling dark introduction to this poetry collection by Emily Skaja, the winner…

Madame Zero

Title: Madame Zero Writer: Sarah Hall Publishing House: Faber & Faber Date of Publication: July 4th 2017 Rating: 4 stars ‘’The morning is clear, a few high clouds banking on the horizon. Dawn has come and gone, but it still feels fresh and damp and clean. You cycle through the hospital grounds, past the crematorium and across a small…

The Bookshop

Title: The Bookshop Writer: Penelope Fitzgerald Publishing House: HarperCollins Date of Publication: January 30th 2014 (first published 1978) Rating: 5 stars ”A good book is the precious lifeblood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life,” and as such it must surely be a necessary commodity. ” Sometimes you have to fight against…

Suspended Heart

Title: Suspended Heart Writer: Heather Fowler Publishing House: Pink Narcissus Press Date of Publication: May 15th 2019 (originally published December 17th 2010) Rating: 3 stars If you follow my reviews, you’ll know that Magical Realism is a great love of mine, especially when combined with Literary Fiction.Short Stories collections are on the rise and justifiably so. The ambiguous closures and…

Yesterday, at the Hotel Clarendon

Τitle: Yesterday, at the Hotel Clarendon Writer: Nicole Brossard (translated by Susanne De Lotbinière- Harwood Publishing House: Coach House Books Date of Publication: 2005 (first published March 19th 2001) Rating: 5 stars ‘’I take the opportunity to lend an ear to ambient life with an eagerness I never suspected. The idea of remaining calm doesn’t displease me. Some days I…

Her Kind

Title: Her Kind Writer: Niamh Boyce Publishing House: Penguin UK Date of Publication: April 4th 2019 Rating: 1 star ‘’Our eyes will go to the worms And our livers will be given as food to the parish dogs. The hair will be torn from our heads The flesh flayed from our bones. They’ll find apple seeds and gooseberry skins…

When We Were Birds

Title: When We Were Birds Writer: Maria Mutch Publishing House: Simon & Schuster Canada Date of Publication: April 24th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Snow falls on the shoulders of people passing, it lands on the pavement and vanishes, more lands and sticks.  She watches the crystals clump, tumble, and it is twilight and the lights of the restaurants and…

The Conviction of Cora Burns

Title: The Conviction of Cora Burns Writer: Carolyn Kirby Publishing House: Dzanc Books Date of Publication: March 21st 2019 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Cora Burns. Born to crime.’’ A young woman, named Cora Burns, hears the gates of Birmingham Gaol closing behind her. She is free from her incarceration but not from her past. A horrible dead has been haunting her…

Cala

Title: Cala Writer: Laura Legge Publishing House: Head of Zeus Date of Publication: March 7th 2019 Rating: 4 stars ‘’The four women of Cala sat in its dining room on the autumn equinox, wearing garlands of ash and hazel, visible to one another only by candlelight.’’ In a farmhouse somewhere in the Outer Hebrides, four women have decided to live…

Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft

Title: Toil & Trouble: 15 Tales of Women & Witchcraft Writer: Various edited by Jessica Spotswood & Tess Sharpe Publishing House: HarperCollins Date of Publication: September 1st 2018 Rating: 4 stars ‘’Scorn the witch. Fear the witch. Burn the witch.’’ If we substitute the word ‘’witch’’ with the word ‘’woman’’, we will be able to understand the reasons and…

Almost Famous Women

Title: Almost Famous Women Writer: Megan Mayhew Bergman Publishing House: Scribner Date of Publication: January 6th 2015 Rating: 2 stars There is currently a plethora of books that aim to bring women whose stories deserve to be more widely known to surface. If you ask me, I think it was about time. However, what makes me apprehensive is the fact…

ROAR

Title: ROAR Writer: Cecelia Ahern Publishing House: HarperCollins Date of Publication: November 1st 2018 Rating: 2 stars ‘’I’m here, I’m here, I’m here, I’m here.’’ 30 stories of 30 women. 30 captivating titles that lead us to the sphere of Magical Realism and allegories. 30 stories that aim to give voice to characters who struggle with issues that make our…

Literary Witches

Title: Literary Witches: A Celebration of Magical Women Writers Writer: Taisia Kitaiskaia, illustrated by Katy Horan and forwarded by Pam Grossman Publishing House: Seal Press Date of Publication: October 10th 2017 Rating: 5 stars ‘’Why would we dare call someone a Literary Witch? Because all artists are magicians, and Witches wield a special magic. Witches and women writers alike dwell…

The Great Alone

Title: The Great Alone Writer: Kristin Hannah Publishing House: St. Martin’s Press Date of Publication: February 6th 2018 Rating: 3 stars ‘’Outside, night had fallen. A full moon cast blue-white light on everything. Stars filled the sky with pinpricks and elliptical smears of light. Up here, at night, the sky was impossibly huge and never quite turned black, but stayed…

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…