Review: All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

Here’s a warning: if you are close to your sister, you may find parts of this book upsetting. Well, I did anyway. (I always cry at books in embarrassing places – usually public transport. It was the case here.) Anyway… Yolandi, our narrator, and her sister Elfrieda, grow up in a Canadian Mennonite community where… Continue reading Review: All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

Review: Whatever Happened to Billy Parks? Gareth Roberts

It’s perhaps fitting that I sit to read this as England’s current crop of lacklustre footballing heroes disappoint the nation again. For the pivotal moment of ‘Billy Parks’ is a what if. What if England had scored against Poland to qualify for the World Cup in 1973? What if they’d brought Billy Parks on? Football… Continue reading Review: Whatever Happened to Billy Parks? Gareth Roberts

Review: Elizabeth is Missing – Emma Healey

Elizabeth is missing. That much is certain. The rest of the story is not so clear. This is down to the narrator, Maud, an old lady struggling with the first stages of dementia. Maud lives alone following the death of her husband and is frequently visited by carers and her daughter Helen. To these people… Continue reading Review: Elizabeth is Missing – Emma Healey

Review: Empire Girls by Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan

Having just taken part in a collaborative novel, I’m quite interested to see how other people work together to produce joint works of fiction. Hayes and Nyhan take a character each and takes turns to tell the story of the Empire Girls. Empire Girls refers to the residents of a boarding house in New York… Continue reading Review: Empire Girls by Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan

Seed packets from Writers’ Greenhouse

My writing group, Writing at Rosy’s, met last Wednesday. After a discussion about how walking isn’t as good exercise as you think it is, we managed to move to a proper table and start on the task at hand. Which was to examine the Premise versus Plot seed packets we’d been sent by Writers’ Greenhouse.… Continue reading Seed packets from Writers’ Greenhouse

The Secrets We Left Behind by Susan Elliot Wright

Susan Elliot Wright’s work sits very much in the ‘Like Maggie O’Farrell? You love this!’ genre. Serious women’s lit, I suppose. Chick lit for grown ups. I don’t know. Please not ‘Mum lit.’ Anyway, I can see where the comparisons are coming from – both writers feature female protagonists who deal with personal issues, often… Continue reading The Secrets We Left Behind by Susan Elliot Wright

Review: Alice Hoffman – The Museum of Extraordinary Things

I’ve read Alice Hoffman books before but not for several years and in my memory her magical-y tales of witches and fables were the stuff of light hearted beach reads. So it was with pleasure to discover, with The Museum of Extraordinary Things, that she’s changed and, dare I say, matured somewhat. The Museum of Extraordinary… Continue reading Review: Alice Hoffman – The Museum of Extraordinary Things

Britmums book review: Above All Things – Tanis Rideout

I’ll be honest. I was nervous about this one. I did indeed make the mistake of judging the book by its cover. The cover is terrible. It looked far too much like romantic fiction for old ladies for my liking. Luckily the contents of the book are far better than the cover. Above All Things… Continue reading Britmums book review: Above All Things – Tanis Rideout

Austen Project – Sense and Sensibility

Sense and Sensibility by Joanna Trollope that is. An updated version. I signed up for this project because I genuinely thought it would be interesting. I didn’t subscribe to the view that this would be a dumbing down exercise. There have been fabulous modern day adaptations of Austen and I enjoyed them as much (and… Continue reading Austen Project – Sense and Sensibility