Books

Book Review: The Flower Girls by Alice Clark-Platts

Book reviews By September 5, 2019 Tags: , , , No Comments

The Flower Girls is anything but the sweet story of childhood innocence its title might suggest, as Alice Clark-Platt’s novel deals with the disturbing and highly emotive subject of child abduction and murder where the perpetrators were children themselves. THREE CHILDREN WENT OUT TO PLAY. ONLY TWO CAME BACK.  The Flower Girls. Laurel and Primrose.  One convicted of murder, the…

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Book Review: The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

Book reviews By August 21, 2019 Tags: , , , 2 Comments

Christy Lefteri’s own experiences of working as a volunteer with refugees in Athens inspired and inform her moving and thought-provoking novel, The Beekeeper of Aleppo. Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo – until the unthinkable happens. When all they care…

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Book Review: The Winker by Andrew Martin

Book reviews By August 19, 2019 Tags: , , , No Comments

Set in the heatwave summer of 1976 and moving between London’s Soho, Oxford, Paris and the South of France, Andrew Martin’s latest novel The Winker is a world away from his previous one, end of the 18th century York-set Soot, reviewed here. London, 1976. In Belgravia in the heat of summer, Lee Jones, a faded and embittered rock star, is…

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Book Review: The Daughter of Hardie by Anne Melville

Book reviews By August 15, 2019 Tags: , , , , 2 Comments

Anne Melville’s The Daughter of Hardie is the second book in The Hardie Family series and follows on from The House of Hardie which I reviewed on the blog last month. It focuses on Gordon and Lucy’s children and, as the title suggests, their daughter, Grace. Grace Hardie has grown up in a sweeping estate on the outskirts of Oxford. But her…

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Book Review: Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

Book reviews By August 13, 2019 Tags: , , , , 2 Comments

Mary Beth Keane’s Ask Again, Yes is the story of two families, neighbours in upstate New York, and how life can change in an instant but may take a generation before things begin to heal. Gillam, upstate New York: a town of ordinary, big-lawned suburban houses. The Gleesons have recently moved there and soon welcome the Stanhopes as their new…

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Book Review: The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney

Book reviews By August 8, 2019 Tags: , , No Comments

JP Delaney’s novel The Perfect Wife is an unnerving, skewed story of grief, our obsession with perfection and that with work, AI and our digital footprints, relationship double standards, and conflicting child-rearing approaches. Abbie wakes in a hospital bed with no memory of how she got there. The man by her side explains that he’s her husband. He’s a titan…

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Book Review: The Ice Maiden by Sara Sheridan

Book reviews By July 31, 2019 Tags: , , No Comments

Sara Sheridan’s The Ice Maiden is a remarkable tale: we gain fresh perspective into what it was like to be a seafarer’s wife, a woman on board ship, and a part of pioneering Polar expeditions. 1842. Stranded on Deception Island in the South Atlantic, her whaling captain husband lost at sea, Karina is destitute and desperate. Disguised as a cabin…

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Book Review: Stanley and Elsie by Nicola Upson

Book reviews By July 29, 2019 Tags: , , , , 4 Comments

Nicola Upson’s novel, Stanley and Elsie, covers five years in the lives of the painter, Sir Stanley Spencer, and the young woman who was hired as his housekeeper, while he was painting the Sandham Memorial Chapel. The First World War is over, and in a quiet Hampshire village, artist Stanley Spencer is working on the commission of a lifetime, painting…

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Book Review: Looker by Laura Sims

Book reviews By July 25, 2019 Tags: , , , 3 Comments

Laura Sims’ debut novel, Looker, and her narrator, the Professor, may look slight but it’d be wrong to underestimate their impact. Both are pretty intense and equally capable of causing a stir. The Professor lives in Brooklyn; her partner Nathan left her when she couldn’t have a baby. All she has now is her dead-end teaching job, her ramshackle apartment,…

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Book Review: Something to Live For by Richard Roper #FindYourSomething

Book reviews By July 23, 2019 Tags: , , , No Comments

Richard Roper’s debut novel, Something to Live For, is a surprisingly endearing, funny and moving story about loneliness and the people who fall through the cracks in their own lives. Sometimes you have to risk everything to find your something… All Andrew wants is to be normal. He has the perfect wife and 2.4 children waiting at home for him after…

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