Re-reading Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale

I’m about to start teaching this novel to an A Level set, and so I’m re-reading it for the first time in about ten years. I loved it when I first read it in the late nineties, and I love it now. There isn’t a notebook big enough for all the ideas it generates. Since … Continue reading Re-reading Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale

Re-Navigation by Sue Parritt #BlogTour

A gloomy seascape is of little consequence to Julia, as a ferry transports her to an isolated Welsh island to undertake a Spiritual Development course. Soon, Julia finds herself surrounded by new friends and questions. As relationships deepen, so does Julia’s feeling that something crucial is missing from her life. As passion ignites and deep-buried … Continue reading Re-Navigation by Sue Parritt #BlogTour

Powerful forces in Imogen Hermes Gowar’s The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock

Apart from the wonderful Jonah Hancock, the unwitting new owner of a mermaid as the novel begins, this is a novel about powerful female forces and women who wish to exert control over their lives, however difficult that might be. Eighteenth Century London is vividly brought to life by Gowar; we meet merchants, bawds, prostitutes, … Continue reading Powerful forces in Imogen Hermes Gowar’s The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock

Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber – vivid retellings of old tales

There’s a knowing playfulness with which Angela Carter handles gothic conventions in her collection of tales in The Bloody Chamber. From the virginal bride in the titular story being carried south to her new husband’s castle, ‘the pounding of my heart mimicking that of the great pistons ceaselessly thrusting the train that bore me through … Continue reading Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber – vivid retellings of old tales