Author Archives: Beth Wren

Review: Stay With Me, Ayòbámi Adébáyò

Yejide is hoping for a miracle, for a child. It is all her husband wants, all her mother-in-law wants, and she has tried everything. But when her relatives insist upon a new wife, it is too much for Yejide to bear. Unravelling against the social and political turbulence of 1980s Nigeria, Stay With Me is […]

Travel Diaries: Copenhagen

I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive about travelling to Copenhagen for a weekend break, purely because there was so much I wanted to do and I was worried that I either wouldn’t be able to fit everything in. Only I could worry about holiday (eyeroll emoji). The amazing thing was that […]

Review: The Lesser Bohemians, Eimear McBride

An eighteen-year-old Irish girl arrives in London to study drama and falls violently in love with an older actor. This older man has a disturbing past that the young girl is unprepared for. The young girl has a troubling past of her own. This is her story and their story. The Lesser Bohemians is about sexual […]

Review: Orlando, Virginia Woolf

A cult heroine among many of my generation, I recently decided to plunge back into Woolfian waters, in which I had not dipped my toes since my undergraduate studies. Having read (and attempted to analyse) Mrs Dalloway and To the Lighthouse what now feels like many years ago, I was surprised at just how different Orlando is to Woolf’s other works. […]

Review: A Whole Life, Robert Seethaler

In a busy and chaotic world, sometimes it takes a quiet novel about a man and his mountains to knock you off your feet. A Whole Life is short and simple, translated from the German into wonderfully unfrilly prose by Charlotte Collins. I think sometimes it’s too easy to be impressed by the grand and […]

Review: The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night, Jen Campbell

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 […]

The London Diaries: Barbican Conservatory

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 […]