Book Review – Graveyard Clay (Cré na Cille) by Máirtín Ó Cadhain

Graveyard Clay (Cré na Cille) by Máirtín Ó Cadhain is set in a graveyard in the west of Ireland in the early 1940s and is a continuing dialogue between those buried there. These are not spirits waiting to be translated elsewhere but rather the coffin-bound corpses of the dead. They have brought with them into … Continue reading Book Review – Graveyard Clay (Cré na Cille) by Máirtín Ó Cadhain

Book Review – The Lady of the Tower by Elizabeth St John

The Lady of the Tower imagines the life of Lucy St John, a descendant of Margaret Beauchamp (maternal grandmother of Henry VII), from 1603 as she emerges from girlhood to 1630 when she was wife of the Keeper of the Tower of London. With the death of Lucy’s mother five years earlier, the family has been … Continue reading Book Review – The Lady of the Tower by Elizabeth St John

Book Review – The Beaufort Bride by Judith Arnopp

Lady Margaret Beaufort, an heiress of the house of Lancaster, was the mother of Henry VII, the first Tudor king of England. She is now generally seen in the popular imagination as an austere scheming woman, politically ruthless and a religious fanatic. Margaret was the daughter and sole heiress of John Beaufort, 1st Duke of Somerset. … Continue reading Book Review – The Beaufort Bride by Judith Arnopp

Book Review – The Trick to Time by Kit de Waal

The Trick to Time is a poignant story of love and loss. Mona, an Irishwoman nearing 60, lives in a coastal town in England where she makes dolls for a living that she sells in her shop and online. The dolls' bodies are of wood, beautifully carved and finished by an almost reclusive carpenter who … Continue reading Book Review – The Trick to Time by Kit de Waal

Book Review – The Last Temptation by Nikos Kazantzakis

The publication in 1955 of The Last Temptation by Nikos Kazantzakis led to a campaign by Greek Orthodox clergy to have Kazantzakis excommunicated as they considered the work blasphemous. It was published in English in 1960, the same year that the book was placed on the Catholic Church’s Index Librorum Prohibitorum (dismantled in 1966 following … Continue reading Book Review – The Last Temptation by Nikos Kazantzakis

Book Review – Traitor’s Knot by Cryssa Bazos

Traitor’s Knot begins in 1645 with the Battle of Naseby where the New Model Army commanded by Sir Thomas Fairfax and Oliver Cromwell all but destroyed the Royalist army. James Hart, a Royalist captain, despite the hardening influence of three years at war, is shocked to his core when, in his escape from pursuing Roundheads, … Continue reading Book Review – Traitor’s Knot by Cryssa Bazos

Book Review – The Women in Black by Madeleine St John

The Women in Black is a delightful book set at the end of the 1950s in the Ladies Cocktail Frocks section on the second floor of F G Goode’s Department Store in Sydney (loosely based on David Jones). The story centres around the lives of the black-frocked sales assistants working there – Patty, Mrs Williams, … Continue reading Book Review – The Women in Black by Madeleine St John

Book Review – The Woman in the Shadows by Carol McGrath

The Woman in the Shadows is a fictional account of the adult life of Elizabeth Wykes, the wife of Thomas Cromwell, a man from relatively humble origins who rose from merchant and lawyer to become chief minister to Henry VIII. For most people, all that is known of Elizabeth is as Cromwell’s wife, a background … Continue reading Book Review – The Woman in the Shadows by Carol McGrath

One Minute Book Review – The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements

From the very first page The Coffin Path gives off a sense of foreboding and building menace. It begins in the Spring 1674, fourteen years into the reign of Charles II, although people and places still bear the scars of the English Civil War. Mercy Booth lives with her father, Bartram Booth, and an aging … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements

One Minute Book Review – The Good People by Hannah Kent

The Good People is set in an isolated village in Kerry, about ten miles from Killarney, in the years 1825 and 1826. It begins with the sudden but seemingly gentle death of Martin Leahy at the village crossroads, the place where traditionally suicides were buried. From the start, it is clear that this is a … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Good People by Hannah Kent