The Mirror and The Light – Hilary Mantel

I waited a long time to witness Thomas Cromwell’s death – after all, Mantel’s trilogy concerns a period in which such deaths were public spectacles – and when it finally came to it (that is surely not a spoiler), it was heart-wrenchingly tragic. I’m still experiencing that sense of loss that follows the end of … Continue reading The Mirror and The Light – Hilary Mantel

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

‘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

The first Booker Winner – P. H. Newby’s Something to Answer For (1969)

The announcement of the Booker shortlist is always a highlight for me. The lists often feature a mix of household names and, perhaps more excitingly, new authors who are making a break from the pack early on in their careers. Fiona Mosley’s Elmet, shortlisted in 2017, is one of the most powerful books I’ve read … Continue reading The first Booker Winner – P. H. Newby’s Something to Answer For (1969)

Man Booker 2018 – Daisy Johnson’s Everything Under #review

This is a slippery, knotty, complex story which circles around the relationship between Gretel and Sarah, her aging mother who is slowly disappearing into the fog of dementia. When Gretel was a child, she and her mother had spun a closed linguistic world of their own, coining new terms to suit their lives. The most … Continue reading Man Booker 2018 – Daisy Johnson’s Everything Under #review

House of Glass by Susan Fletcher #BlogTour #Review

I loved this novel, from its opening lines detailing the impact our narrator’s fragile bones have on her early years, through to its moving conclusion. Even if it wasn’t set in the area near my home, I would have been able to visualise this pre-war world so clearly because of Fletcher’s beautiful prose, ‘A small … Continue reading House of Glass by Susan Fletcher #BlogTour #Review

Man Booker 2018 – Washington Black by Esi Edugyan #review

Beginning on a slave plantation in 1830s Barbados, before embarking on a whirlwind adventure spanning the globe, Washington Black follows the life and travels of a young slave who has a talent for scientific observation. The eponymous hero is plucked from a life of brutality and fear to act as assistant to the liberal-thinking brother … Continue reading Man Booker 2018 – Washington Black by Esi Edugyan #review