A disrupted summer of reading

This summer we've moved house and jobs. I feel like I've been packing and unpacking for months. Annoyingly, the things that's gone (apart from a million books - we've downsized considerably on our shelving) is my time to read. I've also ignored the blog for so long that I've started to dread coming back to … Continue reading A disrupted summer of reading

The Lady in the Veil: The Talbot Saga – Allie Cresswell

I've really enjoyed the first two novels in the Talbot Saga - House in the Hollow and Tall Chimneys - and so I knew I was in for a treat with this new addition to the tale based on the Talbot family. This time, the house itself features only in the background; most of the … Continue reading The Lady in the Veil: The Talbot Saga – Allie Cresswell

Mamma – Diana Tutton (British Library Women Writers)

In other hands, this could have been an uncomfortable (or perhaps horribly salacious) read, concerning as it does a growing connection between a woman and a younger man. But Tutton is too good a writer for that, and this becomes a fascinating exploration of motherhood, aging, and the often uncomfortable acknowledgement of desire in anyone … Continue reading Mamma – Diana Tutton (British Library Women Writers)

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

This Mournable Body – Tsitsi Dangarembga #BookerPrize

This is undoubtedly a powerful novel, the conclusion to a trilogy which captures women's experiences in Zimbabwe in the final decades of the Twentieth Century, as political tensions bubble away, and the violent upheavals of the past two decades are still very much in the consciousness of the characters. But I struggled with it, largely … Continue reading This Mournable Body – Tsitsi Dangarembga #BookerPrize

Tea is So Intoxicating – Mary Essex (British Library Women Writers)

To my shame, this is the first time I’ve read Ursula Bloom in any of her many authorial guises. As Mary Essex, Bloom wrote at least eight books (that I can find) and here provides us with a somewhat spiky rural village comedy. Not many of her characters are particularly likeable, and she has a … Continue reading Tea is So Intoxicating – Mary Essex (British Library Women Writers)

Father – Elizabeth von Arnim (British Library Women Writers)

Literature is full of overbearing or manipulative fathers - Dr Sloper in Henry James' Washington Square springs to mind - and Richard Dodge, the father of this 1931 novel, is up there with the finest. From a young age, Jennifer has looked after and supported her widowed father, typing up his manuscripts and maintaining his … Continue reading Father – Elizabeth von Arnim (British Library Women Writers)