Death and the Seaside by Alison Moore

Death and the Seaside Alison Moore

Death and the Seaside by Alison Moore, Salt, 2016

I’ve been a fan of Alison Moore’s work since I first read The Lighthouse back in 2012, admiring her sparse, taut prose that’s atmospheric and powerful. When I found out that Moore’s new book Death and the Seaside had been published, I ordered it immediately, eager to read more of her work. Continue reading


Review: Alys, Always – Harriet Lane

Alys Always Harriet Lane review

Alys, Always – Harriet Lane
Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2012

I’ve read many good reviews of Harriet Lane’s second novel Her, and the plot sounds intriguing so I’m really interested in reading it. Unfortunately my library didn’t have a copy of her latest novel in stock but they did, however, have Lane’s debut Alys, Always so I decided I’d read that until I could get my hands on a copy of Her.

Alys, Always is told from the perspective of Frances, a thirty-something woman who has a mundane and little-recognised job on the book pages of a newspaper. One evening, she is the first on the scene of a car accident and hears the last words of the driver, Alys Kyte. Later, Frances realises that the driver was the wife of a well-regarded novelist and, when Alys’ family gets in touch in an attempt to find closure, she is given a glimpse into a life that is completely different to her own. Seizing her chance, she begins to grow closer to the Kyte family, and her life will never be the same again. Continue reading

Rereading Books – Part 1

I rarely reread books. I often feel that there are so many classics I haven’t read, so many authors’ works that I haven’t explored yet, so many exciting books being published that I always have something new to read – and not enough time to read it all! So if I reread a book, it’s often got something special that makes me return to it.

With this in mind, I thought I’d go through my bookshelves, pick out the books that I’ve reread and tell you a bit about each one. I found that there were more books than I thought, so I’ve split them into two posts – part 2 will follow shortly! Continue reading

Review: The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared – Jonas Jonasson

The Hundred Year Old Man book review

The Hundred Year Old Man who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared – Jonas Jonasson
Translated by Rod Bradbury
Hesperus Press Limited, 2012

After reading A Girl is a Half-Formed Thing by Eimear McBride (you can read my review here) I needed something light-hearted and easy to read. The copy I’d ordered of The Hundred Year Old Man who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared had come into the library and it seemed the perfect choice after my last challenging read. Continue reading

Review: The Still Point – Amy Sackville

The Still Point Amy Sackville book review

The Still Point – Amy Sackville
First published, Portobello Books, 2010
This edition, 2011

I ordered a copy of Amy Sackville’s The Still Point from the library after reading Kirsty’s review on her blog, The Literary Sisters. She talked about how Sackville’s prose reminded her of Virginia Woolf, which certainly piqued my interest, while the plot sounded intriguing too.

Taking place over the course of one day, The Still Point follows Julia as she continues with her task of organising the artefacts preserved in her family’s house belonging to Edward Mackley, a man who explored the Arctic and never returned home. Julia is intrigued by Edward’s story, especially that of his wife Emily who was left waiting for him to return. Alongside this, Julia is desperately trying to ignore the cracks which are beginning to appear in her marriage. Yet as the day continues, Julia makes a discovery which causes her to question what she has always believed about Edward and Emily, and subsequently, her own marriage. Continue reading

Review: The Night Guest – Fiona McFarlane

The Night Guest Fiona McFarlane book review

The Night Guest – Fiona McFarlane
Sceptre, 2014

Recently, I’ve been in something of a reading slump. It’s not that I haven’t read any good books – I’ve read books that I enjoyed, reviewed positively, and would recommend – but nothing I was really excited about. Until I read The Night Guest. This was a book that made me smile, and then feel sad; this was a book that I couldn’t wait to carry on reading but also one that I wanted to read slowly so I didn’t get to the end too soon. It’s a book that I want to reread again and again. Continue reading

Review: How Green Was My Valley – Richard Llewellyn

How Green Was My Valley Richard Llewellyn book review

How Green Was My Valley – Richard Llewellyn
First published by Michael Joseph, 1939
This edition, Penguin Classics, 2001

I picked up How Green Was My Valley after seeing Mercedes from MercysBookishMusings on Youtube mention the book in this video and then talk about it in her subsequent review. I’d never heard of the book before and it’s one that I probably wouldn’t have chosen otherwise. But I’m glad I did because How Green Was My Valley is a wonderful book and one with a completely enveloping and engrossing story and characters. Continue reading

Review: The Quickening Maze – Adam Foulds

The Quickening Maze Adam Foulds review

The Quickening Maze – Adam Foulds
First published, 2009
This edition, Vintage, 2010

This year, I seem to be unintentionally making my way through Granta’s list of Best Young British Novelists 2013, having read novels from Evie Wyld, Zadie Smith, Helen Oyeyemi, and now Adam Foulds (you can click the author’s name to find my review of their novel). As with the extract of Helen Oyeyemi’s Boy, Snow, Bird, I enjoyed what I read of Fould’s latest novel, In the Wolf’s Mouth, but this time I decided to start with one of his earlier works – The Quickening Maze, which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2009. Continue reading

Review: Brighton Rock – Graham Greene

Brighton Rock Graham Greene review

Brighton Rock – Graham Greene
First published 1938
This edition, Vintage, 2010

The first Graham Greene novel I read was The End of the Affair (you can see my thoughts here) and I was impressed by this short but complex story. In the comments of that post, I was recommended Greene’s Brighton Rock by Louise from Book a Week: A Challenge to Read 52 Books in a Year which encouraged me to push the book up my TBR and order a copy from the library. Continue reading