Crooked Heart – Lissa Evans

As regular followers may remember, I absolutely loved Old Baggage’s Mattie Simpkin. Published as a prequel after Crooked Heart, it provided readers with Mattie’s story in 1928. Crooked Heart, although the first of the two novels, moves forward a decade and Mattie, very sadly, is now suffering with dementia and ‘looking after’ a godson, Noel. … Continue reading Crooked Heart – Lissa Evans

Hot Stew – Fiona Mozley

Fiona Mozley's new novel is excellent. It's very different in tone to her outstanding debut, Elmet, but excellent all the same. Hot Stew has a large cast of characters inhabiting Mozley's Soho, a landscape she builds from open fields in a virtuoso fast-forward motion in a matter of paragraphs. The buildings, the visitors, the inhabitants, … Continue reading Hot Stew – Fiona Mozley

The Lying Life of Adults – Elena Ferrante

'Two years before leaving home my father said to my mother that I was very ugly.' A more condensed narrative than the rather sprawling Neapolitan Quartet, Elena Ferrante's new novel is a classic bildungsroman with an interesting gothic flavour. As with the Quartet's main figures, our new narrator, Giovanna, is focused on her growing awareness … Continue reading The Lying Life of Adults – Elena Ferrante

The Death of Francis Bacon – Max Porter

Once you’ve read The Death of Francis Bacon, you can’t help feeling that only Max Porter could have tackled the imagined thoughts of this violently visual painter. As already seen in Grief is the Thing with Feathers and Lanny, Porter’s style suits the noisy, graphic style of the painter himself. In a way, the layout … Continue reading The Death of Francis Bacon – Max Porter