Category Book Reviews

Review: The Transit of Venus, Shirley Hazzard

Caro, gallant and adventurous, is one of two Australian sisters who have come to post-war England to seek their fortunes. Courted long and hopelessly by young scientist, Ted Tice, she is to find that love brings passion, sorrow, betrayal and finally hope. The milder Grace seeks fulfilment in an apparently happy marriage. But as the […]

Review: Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America […]

Review: The Bear and the Nightingale, Katherine Arden

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, an elderly servant tells stories of sorcery, folklore and the Winter King to the children of the family, tales of old magic frowned upon by the church. But for […]

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 […]

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 […]