One Minute Book Review – Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore

Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore begins and ends with short chapters set in the present. The story proper commences in 1789 with a man burying a woman’s body in an isolated glade in the fading darkness before sunrise. Three years on Lizzie Fawkes begins her story - she is newly married to widower, John Diner … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Birdcage Walk by Helen Dunmore

Irish Heritage – Thomas McGrath of Finnahy

The parents of my maternal grandfather, John Daniel ‘Jack’ McGrath (1887-1971), were both born in Ireland. Jack’s mother, Margaret Ryan, was born at Drumgoole, Kilkenny in 1851 and migrated to Australia around 1869. His father, Patrick McGrath, was five and a half when his family arrived in Melbourne, Victoria in 1854. Patrick was born at … Continue reading Irish Heritage – Thomas McGrath of Finnahy

One Minute Book Review – The Muse by Jessie Burton

This dual narrative novel begins in London in 1967 with Odelle Bastien, a young woman from Trinidad who works in a shoe shop while nursing the dream of being a writer. When Odelle finds a new job as a typist at the Skelton Institute, an upmarket art gallery, she is encouraged in her ambitions by … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Muse by Jessie Burton

One Minute Book Review – Towers in the Mist by Elizabeth Goudge

This delightful novel covers a year in the life of the Leigh family, from the arrival on May Day 1565 of Faithful Crocker, a 14 year old orphaned vagabond, carrying his meagre possessions, a copy of Virgil and of Foxe's Book of Martyrs, and a burning desire to become a scholar, to the visit of … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Towers in the Mist by Elizabeth Goudge

The Dictionary of Slang; or, the Vulgar Words, Street Phrases, and “Fast” Expressions of High and Low Society.

I have a copy of delightfully titled The Dictionary of Slang; or, the Vulgar Words, Street Phrases, and “Fast” Expressions of High and Low Society. Many with their Etymology, and a Few with their History Traced which was published in London in 1867. This copy is the third edition of the book; the original was … Continue reading The Dictionary of Slang; or, the Vulgar Words, Street Phrases, and “Fast” Expressions of High and Low Society.

One Minute Book Review – The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova

The Swan Thieves is an intriguing story of art and obsession. Its starting point is the attack on a 19th century painting hanging in the National Gallery of Art in Washington. The attacker, Robert Oliver, is a brilliant painter suffering from a psychosis. He is hospitalized under the care of psychiatrist Andrew Marlow who is … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova