Fear and Trembling

Title: Fear and Trembling (original title: Stupeur et Tremblements) Writer: Amélie Nothomb (tr. by Adriana Hunter) Publishing House: St. Martin’s Griffin Date of Publication: November 1st 2004 (first published August 26th 1999) Rating: 5 stars ‘’Society conspires against her from early infancy. Her brain is steadily filled with plaster until it sets. ‘’If you’re not…

Hotel Iris

Title: Hotel Iris (original title: ホテル・アイリス ) Writer: Yoko Ogawa (translated by Stephen Snyder) Publishing House: Vintage Publishing Date of Publication: April 7th 2011 (first published 1996) Rating: 5 stars ‘’He first came to the Iris one day just before the beginning of the summer season. The rain had been falling since dawn. It grew heavier at…

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….

Blue Ticket

Title: Blue Ticket Writer: Sophie Mackintosh Publishing House: Hamish Hamilton Date of Publication: August 27th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”We lined up, waiting to pull our tickets from the machine, the way you would take your number at the butcher’s counter. The music popular that year played from speakers on the ceiling. Just gravity enough. Not necessarily such an important…

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 Harpy

Title: The Harpy Writer: Megan Hunter Publishing House: Grove Press Date of Publication: September 17th 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”Three. I’d said it out loud, after he did. It made a kind of neat sense, something religious about its structure. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Peter betrayed Jesus three times. A familiar number, for a good Christian girl like…

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 Voice In My Ear

Title: The Voice In My Ear Writer: Frances Leviston Publishing House: Random House UK Date of Publication:  March 19th 2020 Rating: 2 stars ”…asking tough questions of schools and other institutions, but you’re not questioning the institution you represent, which is the family, which is mothers and fathers. What role do parents play in a child’s abuse?” Ten stories centered…

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…

They Say Sarah

Title: They Say Sarah (original title: Ça raconte Sarah) Writer: Pauline Delabroy – Allard (translated by Adriana Hunter) Publishing House: Random House Date of Publication:  June 2nd 2020 (first published September 2018) Rating: 2 stars ”On clear night day of dark mists My absent love in my arms here No other part of me persists But what you whispered in…

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…

If I Had Your Face

Title:If I Had Your Face Writer: Frances Cha Publishing House: Penguin Books (UK) Date of Publication: April 23rd 2020 Rating: 5 stars ”In the original story, the little mermaid endures unspeakable pain to gain her human legs. The Sea Witch warns her that her new feet will feel as if she is walking on whetter blades, but she will…

Foxfire, Wolfskin and Other Stories of Shapeshifting Women

Title: Foxfire, Wolfskin and Other Stories of Shapeshifting Women Writer: Sharon Blackie Publishing House: September Publishing Date of Publication: September 20th 2019 Rating: 5 stars ”No one wants to work the land, now; they just want to sit and look out of the picture window and stare at the water. A ‘view’, they call is, as if they had nothing…

Death and Other Holidays

Title: Death and Other Holidays Writer:Marci Vogel Publishing House: Melville House Date of Publication: November 13th 2018 Rating: 5 stars ”I know you now, even if it’s only a little bit, and I know it’s strange, but I didn’t before, and I might never have known you unless somebody had written these lines. Who knows how many people are…

Isolde

Title:Isolde Writer: Irina Odoevtseva (translated by Bryan Karetnyk, Irina Steinberg) Publishing House: Pushkin Press Date of Publication: July 4th 2019 (first published 1929) Rating: 5 stars ”So what? What do we care about the future?” Liza, a girl of fourteen, the ”Isolde” of the title, lives the ”good life” in Biarritz, in the shadow of her mother who…

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…

The Eighth Day

Title:The Eighth Day (original title: 八日目の蝉) Writer:Mitsuyo Kakuta Publishing House:Kodansha Date of Publication:May 1st 2010 (first published March 2007) Rating: 3 stars ”I left the house and turned to the alley. No shops insight. This was a strange corner of the city, a row of uninhabited houses. Shutters closed, a rusty bike lying next to a…

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…