Book reviews, musings and waffle from a British lit addict

literary fiction

Review: ‘The End We Start From’ by Megan Hunter

Review: ‘The End We Start From’ by Megan Hunter

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars As London is submerged below flood waters, a woman gives birth to her first child, Z. Days later, she and her baby are forced to leave their home in search of safety. They head north through a newly dangerous […]

Book Thoughts: ‘Sufficient Grace’ by Amy Espeseth

Book Thoughts: ‘Sufficient Grace’ by Amy Espeseth

Overall rating:  4 out of 5 stars Ruth and her cousin Naomi live in rural Wisconsin, part of an isolated religious community. The girls’ lives are ruled by the rhythms of nature — the harsh winters, the hunting seasons, the harvesting of crops — and […]

Review: ‘The Ballroom’ by Anna Hope

Review: ‘The Ballroom’ by Anna Hope

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars Where love is your only escape… 1911: Inside an asylum at the edge of the Yorkshire moors, where men and women are kept apart by high walls and barred windows, there is a ballroom vast and beautiful. For one […]

Review: ‘The Collector’ by John Fowles

Review: ‘The Collector’ by John Fowles

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars Withdrawn, uneducated and unloved, Frederick collects butterflies and takes photographs. He is obsessed with a beautiful stranger, the art student Miranda. When he wins the pools he buys a remote Sussex house and calmly abducts Miranda, believing she will […]

Review: ‘The Night Rainbow’ by Claire King

Review: ‘The Night Rainbow’ by Claire King

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars Under the sweltering heat of the summer sun, five-year-old Pea – and her vivid imagination – run wild in the meadows behind her home on the edge of a small village in Southern France.Pea’s father died in an accident, […]

Review: ‘Life After Life’ by Kate Atkinson

Review: ‘Life After Life’ by Kate Atkinson

Rating:  4.5 out of 5 stars What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right? During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath. […]

Review: ‘Perfect’ by Rachel Joyce

Review: ‘Perfect’ by Rachel Joyce

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars In 1972, two seconds were added to time. It was in order to balance clock time with the movement of the earth. Byron Hemming knew this because James Lowe had told him and James was the cleverest boy at […]

Review: ‘The Penelopiad’ by Margaret Atwood

Review: ‘The Penelopiad’ by Margaret Atwood

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars “In Homer’s account in The Odyssey, Penelope – wife of Odysseus and cousin of the beautiful Helen of Troy – is portrayed as the quintessential faithful wife, her story a salutary lesson through the ages. Left alone for twenty […]

Literary Fiction Review: ‘The Song of Achilles’ by Madeline Miller

Literary Fiction Review: ‘The Song of Achilles’ by Madeline Miller

RATING: 5 out of 5 stars Greece in the age of Heroes. Patroclus, an awkward young prince, has been exiled to the kingdom of Phthia. Here he is nobody, just another unwanted boy living in the shadow of King Peleus and his golden son, Achilles. […]

Literary Fiction Review: ‘The Vanishing Act’ by Mette Jakobsen

Literary Fiction Review: ‘The Vanishing Act’ by Mette Jakobsen

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars This is a story about a snow-covered island you won’t find on any map.It’s the story of a girl, Minou. A year ago, her mother walked out into the rain and never came back. It’s a story about a […]