After the Party – Cressida Connolly

This was a surprising book – not the story I thought I was going to get, but all the more interesting for it. Rather than being simply a Gatsby-esque exploration of beautiful lives being ruined by scandal (don’t get me wrong – I love that sort of story), this becomes something far more political and … Continue reading After the Party – Cressida Connolly

Lanny by Max Porter #BookerPrize2019

I love this time of year – the announcement of the Booker Longlist signals the onset of Autumn and gives me just the sort of challenge I like. Admittedly, I haven’t actually got round to reading last year’s winner yet, and I can never call it in terms of who should be shortlisted, but I … Continue reading Lanny by Max Porter #BookerPrize2019

Lissa Evans’ Old Baggage – simply marvellous.

Mattie Simpkin is a brilliant character. There’s been so much written on the fight for female emancipation, both in fiction and elsewhere, but Evans’ novel, set in 1928, is a moving and often very funny account of what a woman like Mattie, an ardent suffragette and unflagging campaigner for equality, does next. ‘Mattie wore her … Continue reading Lissa Evans’ Old Baggage – simply marvellous.

‘There She Blows’ – Herman Melville’s Moby Dick

Well, that was some read. I read quickly (it’s my only useful skill) and this has taken me weeks. It’s on a par with Richardson’s Clarissa in terms of the stamina required, but I’m glad I’ve read it - and unlike my experience with Richardson’s epic tome, I wasn’t being whipped along by the demands … Continue reading ‘There She Blows’ – Herman Melville’s Moby Dick

Deborah Morgan’s Disappearing Home – one for the year’s Top Ten

There are some books which just don’t put a foot wrong – and this is one of them. The tale of ten-year-old Robyn, growing up on an estate in Liverpool in the late Seventies, is one which is simply and brilliantly narrated by Robyn herself. Morgan manages the difficult trick of getting a child’s voice … Continue reading Deborah Morgan’s Disappearing Home – one for the year’s Top Ten

The Last Words of Madeleine Anderson – Helen Kitson

You wait for one intriguing novel, and a bagful arrive at once. I’ve been really lucky with the books I’ve picked up recently (I am quite choosy), and Helen Kitson’s accomplished The Last Words of Madeleine Anderson is one of my favourites. Gabrielle Price, the author of a critically-acclaimed novel in her youth, is now … Continue reading The Last Words of Madeleine Anderson – Helen Kitson