A Thousand Ships – Natalie Haynes

In her third novel, Haynes has, as the muse Calliope says, ‘picked up the old stories and … shaken them until the hidden  women appear in plain sight.’ And it is a great cast that tell us the story of Troy and its aftermath from this female perspective. Helen is present, but Calliope tells us, … Continue reading A Thousand Ships – Natalie Haynes

Dominicana – Angie Cruz

The shock of the opening line, ‘The first time Juan Ruiz proposes, I’m eleven years old…’, sets us up for an uneasy insight into the life of a young girl from the Dominican Republic, whose life is to be shaped by the poverty of her homeland and the ambitions of her mother. Ana’s mother is … Continue reading Dominicana – Angie Cruz

The Vanished Bride – Bella Ellis #TheBronteMysteries

Taking as its premise the idea that the Brontë sisters embarked on brief careers as crime-fighting ‘detectors’ in 1845, the period between Charlotte and Emily returning home from Brussels and the three sisters becoming published authors a year later, this novel offers us a delicious new version of the famous siblings, superbly reimagined by Bella … Continue reading The Vanished Bride – Bella Ellis #TheBronteMysteries

‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’ – Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities

I'd be lying if I said that the recent use of this novel's famous opening paragraph in an advert (BT?) hadn't been a small nudge to finally get reading this classic. I have been setting the opening as a prac. crit. text for years, feeling like a complete charlatan each time because I have an … Continue reading ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times’ – Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities