Category Book Reviews

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 […]

Review: Brooklyn, Colm Tóibín

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 […]

Review: Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez

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 […]

Review: The Essex Serpent, Sarah Perry

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 […]

Review: The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas

Every now and again a book comes along that I recommend to every single person I know. A book that I think everybody should read, regardless of age or gender or race. The Hate U Give is one of these books, because it’s moving and powerful and necessary.