Catherine Cookson’s The Gambling Man

Of all of the Cookson novels I have read so far, this one is my favourite, and, in my opinion, the one that is the best written. As you would come to expect from such a prolific novelist, she creates a realistic setting, engaging characters, and a pacy narrative lawyered with relatable conflict and suspense.Continue reading “Catherine Cookson’s The Gambling Man”

The Secret to Not Drowning by Colette Snowden

The Secret to Not Drowning by Colette Snowden My rating: 4 of 5 stars This book started with one of the most intriguing sentences to a book opening that I have read in a while: ‘There are four people in the room and only one of them is me’. I paused when I read it,Continue reading “The Secret to Not Drowning by Colette Snowden”

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins My rating: 5 of 5 stars The first person who recommended this book to me told me it was brilliant but controversial. The words cultural appropriation were murmured, and the question raised, before I had even read the book, was whether it was appropriate for a Spanish born, white AmericanContinue reading “American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins”

Catherine Cookson’s The Cinder Path

This was a rather fitting read for this time of year, with part of the book set during World War I. I was rather pleased to find a Dickensian reference in The Cinder Path, and I have blogged about this already at… As this is the fourth Cookson novel that I have read, I amContinue reading “Catherine Cookson’s The Cinder Path”

In The Sweep of the Bay by Cath Barton

In the Sweep of the Bay by Cath Barton My rating: 4 of 5 stars A sweet novella that tells the story of a family, with a marriage at the heart of it. It is a marriage depicted with all the pragmatism of day-to-day living that strips it bare of romanticism, leaving something at theContinue reading “In The Sweep of the Bay by Cath Barton”

Chatterbox – A Victorian Journal

I started reading The Cinder Path by Catherine Cookson, the fourth novel of hers I have turned to as I embrace my Northern heritage after moving back up here. I will come back to that book when I have finished reading it. But one of the things I want to explore is the historical settingContinue reading “Chatterbox – A Victorian Journal”

The Swelling Silence of Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell My rating: 5 of 5 stars A critically acclaimed, prize-winning novel, I started reading this with high expectations. And…. then I faltered. It took me longer than it should have to get my head around the shifting time narratives as they were not signposted as well as they could have been.Continue reading “The Swelling Silence of Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell”

Sand Keeps Secrets Better than Mud: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens My rating: 4 of 5 stars There was one line in the novel that for me represented all that is powerful and wonderful in this book. It was: ‘Sand keeps secrets better than mud.’ In this book, the marshlands that Kya inhabits are as much a character asContinue reading “Sand Keeps Secrets Better than Mud: Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens”

Catherine Cookson’s The Girl

The Girl by Catherine Cookson My rating: 4 of 5 stars This was a difficult book for me to read, given the central character is presented as the illegitimate offspring of a middle class, relatively well-off family man. This is my second foray into Catherine Cookson as I read my way through a compendium ofContinue reading “Catherine Cookson’s The Girl”

Catherine Cookson’s The Mallen Streak

Having recently read the biography of the life of Catherine Cookson, and having moved close to Hexham, I decided it was about time to delve into some classic Cookson novels. I started with The Mallen Streak. I have a vague recollection of reading this when I was about ten or eleven years old but notContinue reading “Catherine Cookson’s The Mallen Streak”