Pandora and the Decline of the Historical Fiction Genre

Pandora by Susan Stokes-Chapman My rating: 3 of 5 stars I think, more than anything, this book encapsulates what I see with one of the most problematic aspects of modern publishing’s obsession with the debut novel. Heavily hyped (and indeed a book that caught the attention of both the Cavendish Prize and the Bath NovelContinue reading “Pandora and the Decline of the Historical Fiction Genre”

My Thoughts on Home Going by Yaa Gyasi

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi My rating: 5 of 5 stars I came across this book after a recent episode of This is Us featured Rebecca and Randall discussing it. Both Randall and Rebecca confessed to sobbing at a key moment in the book. Deciding that I needed to get a hold of this book, IContinue reading “My Thoughts on Home Going by Yaa Gyasi”

Review of The Homecoming by Anna Enquist

The Homecoming by Anna Enquist My rating: 2 of 5 stars I really, really wanted to like this book. Having grown up in Australia, with Captain James Cook so much a part of the history of the land (whether this is viewed as for good or for bad) I was really looking forward to seeingContinue reading “Review of The Homecoming by Anna Enquist”

The Branded Man by Catherine Cookson

The Branded Man by Catherine Cookson My rating: 4 of 5 stars Continuing on with my immersion in the works of Catherine Cookson, I delved into The Branded Man. Published in 1997, one year before she died, I think in this work, more than in her previous, we can really tell that she was strugglingContinue reading “The Branded Man by Catherine Cookson”

Thoughts on The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold My rating: 5 of 5 stars As always, it is best to point out that what follows will not be an academic review. Although the late nineteenth century is an area of academic interest for me, it is notContinue reading “Thoughts on The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper”

A Woman of Passion: The Life of E Nesbit by Julia Briggs

So before I read this book what did I know about Edith Nesbit? I knew that she wrote a series of popular children’s books, I knew (thanks to my sister who lives near where Nesbit once did) where she was from and where she drew her inspiration. I also knew (thanks to that same sister)Continue reading “A Woman of Passion: The Life of E Nesbit by Julia Briggs”

A review of Dear Evelyn by Kathy Page

Dear Evelyn by Kathy Page My rating: 5 of 5 stars An expansive, yet shatteringly intimate portrait of a long-term marriage, Dear Evelyn is one of those books that got under my skin. It is a masterpiece of characterisation, with both Evelyn and Harry portrayed with almost careless skill, both characters growing and developing asContinue reading “A review of Dear Evelyn by Kathy Page”

Multiple Pictures of Single Women

This morning I scrolled through Twitter as I drank my tea, despairing over Putin’s war games, and the bravery of the men and women of Ukraine as they stand against it, but as I looked for something lighter this Tweet caught my eye: And I began to contemplate the paintings that adorn the walls ofContinue reading “Multiple Pictures of Single Women”

Catherine Cookson’s Plainer Still

Plainer Still: A New Personal Anthology by Catherine Cookson My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is an interesting addition to the vast body of work produced by a prolific writer, but very different to her usual story-telling novelistic form. Comprised of a series of poems, essays, recollections, and snapshots of her life, the bookContinue reading “Catherine Cookson’s Plainer Still”