Fiction, Reviews

Review: “The Rules Of Magic” by Alice Hoffman

I'm struggling to remember the last time I read a book that didn't have magic in it.... This hasn't been an intentional decision - maybe it's just the autumnal weather kicking in, but it has had the beneficial side effect of immersing me in literary depictions of otherworldliness and getting me to think about what I do, and definitely do not, like about how the extraordinary is dealt with by authors. 

Fiction, Great Reads in Great Places, Reviews

Great Reads In Great Places: Bamburgh and Alnwick, Northumberland

Northumberland is quickly becoming something of a UK literary powerhouse. No longer just home to Hogwarts stand in Alnwick Castle, it is producing some of the best historical and noir fiction I’ve read in a while.

Fiction, Reviews

Review: “Sing, Unburied, Sing” by Jesmyn Ward

What can I say - one of the best novels of the year so far. "Sing, Unburied, Sing" is part Southern Gothic, part American road novel, part Steinbeck-esque story of people and place. It explores not only the family dynamic of Jojo, his grandparents and his drug addicted mother, but also their ties through the ages - to the dead and the living.

Fiction, Reviews

Review: “The House Between Tides” by Sarah Maine

The relentless summer sun of the US East Coast has had me, perversely, hankering for grey skies and sparse landscapes, and as such I've been picking up a fair few novels set in Scotland recently. The gorgeous moody cover of Sarah Maine's debut novel drew me in immediately, as did the back cover descriptions of a gothic and atmospheric novel with a good old dose of murder and mystery. It was just what I needed.

Fiction, Reviews

Review: “The Witchfinder’s Sister” by Beth Underdown

A new perspective on one of Britain's darkest periods of history. Before the Salem witch trials there was Matthew Hopkins - Britain's self-appointed Witchfinder General. This chilling tale looks at what happened in the years between 1645 and 1647 when he held sway over East Anglia, through the eyes of his widowed sister Alice.

Fiction, Reviews

Review: “Revenants: The Odyssey Home”

This book was always going to have an epic hill to climb as a re-telling of Homer’s “The Odyssey”. By its very nature it was going to have to be expansive both in time and location, not to mention language and structure - all very problematic for an author... There are some elements of this that Scott Kauffman has really nailed and, as to be expected, others that slip through his grasp. In light of this, I am completely torn with this book.