Autumn is upon us and nothing seems more apt than to settle down with this collection of magical short stories by masterful storyteller Jen Campbell (and a nice cup of green tea in my new favourite mug). I read The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night on several train journeys, relishing the short […]

Hidden in the depths of an iconic Brutalist architectural structure in the centre of London is a jungle. The Barbican conservatory is the second largest conservatory in London, and is a veritable tropical oasis. It’s only open on Sunday afternoons, and some at that as it gets booked up in advance for weddings. The perfect […]

Eilis Lacey has come of age in small-town Ireland in the hard years following World War Two. When an Irish priest from Brooklyn offers to sponsor Eilis in America — to live and work in a Brooklyn neighborhood “just like Ireland” — she decides she must go, leaving her fragile mother and her charismatic sister […]

We are all messes of ourselves, and yet somehow the pieces always make a puzzle.

Fifty-one years, nine months and four days have passed since Fermina Daza rebuffed hopeless romantic Florentino Ariza’s impassioned advances and married Dr Juvenal Urbino instead. During that half-century, Flornetino has fallen into the arms of many delighted women, but has loved none but Fermina. Having sworn his eternal love to her, he lives for the […]

I suppose we are all walking on a path of dust to the mountains.

London 1893. When Cora Seaborne’s husband dies, she steps into her new life as a widow with as much relief as sadness: her marriage was not a happy one, and she never suited the role of society wife. Accompanied by her son Francis – a curious, obsessive boy – she leaves town for Essex, where […]