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The Green Man of Eshwood Hall by Jacob Kerr

The Green Man of Eshwood Hall by Jacob KerrMy rating: 4 of 5 stars This book was something of a slow burn for me. A sense of uneasiness pervades the whole of the novel, with the nomadic lifestyle of the family suggesting that something is not quite right, and that unsettling eerie atmosphere carries over…

Emma and the Silencing of the Working Class Woman

Today I finally made it to the Manchester Art Gallery to view the epic painting ‘Work’, by artist Ford Madox Brown. It is a dense painting, full of intricate detail, in which Brown attempts to depict the gospel according to Thomas Carlyle – that all work, even cotton-spinning work, is noble. There is much to…

Lessons by Ian McEwan

Lessons by Ian McEwanMy rating: 5 of 5 starsCharting the long story of one man’s life, as he tries to piece together his listless wandering from one missed opportunity to the next, the book begins with a piano lesson, where eleven year old Roland makes the same mistake he always makes as he attempts to…

Charles II and the First English Divorce

This is an abridged extract from The Story of Divorce, which looks at the first English divorce, and the role that Charles II’s marital woes may have played in the outcome. The year was 1670 and Charles II, the ‘Merry Monarch’, was on the throne. The Cavalier Parliament was only halfway through what would become…

Review of After Sappho by Selby Wynn Schwartz

After Sappho by Selby Wynn SchwartzMy rating: 5 of 5 starsSo what comes after Sappho? Who are the women who have walked in her footsteps, searching for something beyond themselves, beyond the gendered roles that society seeks to impose on them? This is one of those rare books that take you utterly by surprise. A…

Review of Northerners: A History by Brian Groom

Northerners: A History, from the Ice Age to the Present Day by Brian GroomMy rating: 3 of 5 starsI really, really wanted to like this book. Northern publisher publishing a Northern author writing about the North. Sounded like a winning formula to me. And yet… there was something missing from this book as I did…

On the overturning of Roe V Wade…

Over the last two days, I have veered between despair and disbelief as I contemplate the overturning of the decision of Roe v Wade by the Supreme Court of the US this week. I have already heard countless people, mostly men, saying it is a US problem, and therefore should not impact on those of…

Deborah Levy and The Cost of Living

The Cost of Living by Deborah LevyMy rating: 5 of 5 starsHaving read and very much enjoyed the first in Levy’s autobiographical triptych, I was really looking forward to delving into her second. I love Levy’s writing, both her works of imaginative fiction, but now, also her, more reflective work.Levy, in The Cost of Living…

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