History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (2017)

I had vaguely heard of this book before I saw it in Waterstones - probably because it was shortlisted for the Booker in 2017. I was in Barnstaple and wandering around the bookshop, having stupidly taken only one book away on holiday with me (perhaps the first time I have ever done that), and have [...]

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Once We Were Sisters by Sheila Kohler (2017)

Like the last book I read, I found Once We Were Sisters through my GoodReads recommendations. I had never heard of Sheila Kohler but soon discovered that she is well-established writer of fiction, and this is her first memoir. It centres around her relationship with her older sister Maxine, and the devastation of Maxine's sudden [...]

Re-reading: Alone in Berlin by Hans Fallada (1947)

I first read Alone in Berlin in 2011 just after I'd left university. I'd read a lot of books about the Second World War for a course at university, and my further reading (and time on Twitter) led me to this novel. It was only translated into English in 2009, so in 2011 it was [...]

The Women of the Castle by Jessica Shattuck (2017)

[A side note: in the US, the title is The Women in the Castle.] I’ve always been interested in the literature of the Second World War, ever since a course on the Literatures of Genocide at university. I’ve read history books, personal accounts, and novels such as Alone in Berlin and City of Women; so, [...]

A Broken Mirror by Mercè Rodoreda (1962)

I came upon this book entirely by chance in Waterstone's - it was the cover that made me pick it up, and I am so, so glad I did. A Broken Mirror is described on the inside cover as "A haunting classic of modern Catalan literature from one of Spain's most prestigious writers", but honestly [...]

Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh (2017)

I loved Jennifer McVeigh's first novel The Fever Tree (my review is here) so I was eager to read her new novel Leopard at the Door. It has a similar setup, in that it's central character is a young British woman thrown into turmoil on foreign soil. This time its Rachel, a British woman returning [...]

All the Good Things by Clare Fisher

This novel was one of four that I accepted for review from Viking, and it was the one I was least sure about. I liked the initial premise, the question of whether doing a bad thing makes you a bad person, and I am always intrigued by debut novels. Not knowing much more than that, [...]

Gone: A Girl, A Violin, A Life Unstrung by Min Kym

This book was one of the few review copies I have been accepting recently, and I'm glad I decided to read and review it, because it's something a little different - but once I got into it I realised it actually is the sort of thing I like. Gone: A Girl, A Violin, A Life [...]

The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown

I have read a couple of books about English witch trials, and the history of why they happened, so this book wasn't entirely new ground for me - but is certainly an original take on the period the events. The Witchfinder's Sister gives the infamous Matthew Hopkins a fictional sister in the form of Alice, [...]

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

See What I Have Done is one of those books that gets an awful lot of hype and press, and often this puts me off for some reason - but in this case it is entirely deserved and I couldn't be happier to see promos and reviews all over social media. I read a proof [...]