Some people judge a book not by its cover but by the opening lines, or perhaps the first page or two. It is wonderful when a brilliant beginning is followed by an equally sparkling book but often the momentum slows. At other times, the opening of a story is serviceable but the storytelling strengthens with … Continue reading Should I read on?
Thomas Cromwell: A Life by Diarmaid MacCulloch A time there was when a son was born to humble parents in the Surrey village of Putney, a place of little account, at a ferry crossing on the bank of the Thames, 6 miles upstream from the King's Palace of Westminster. The Dry by Jane Harper It … Continue reading My Reading – January 2021
Grace by Paul Lynch This flood October. And in the early light her mother goes for her, rips her from sleep, takes her from a dream of the world. Bone China by Laura Purcell Love is fragile, my mother once said. It can break. Strange Flowers by Donal Ryan All the light left Paddy Gladney's … Continue reading My Reading – December 2020
A Plague on Mr Pepys by Deborah Swift Bess Bagwell clung to the seat as a wash of freezing river water sluiced over the side of the wherry. She had to shift fast, to avoid a drenching. Expectation by Anna Hope It is Saturday, which is market day. It is late spring, or early summer. … Continue reading My Reading – November 2020
Singapore Sapphire by A M Stuart 'Hello,' she called, her voice vanishing into the dark bowels of the house. Moominvalley in November by Tove Jansson Early one morning in Moominvalley Snufkin woke up in his tent with the feeling that autumn had come and that it was time to break camp. Moominpappa at Sea by … Continue reading My Reading – October 2020
The Devil's Dye by Jeni Neill 'The hog can be smelt from the street for Lord's sake!' The Pull of the Stars by Emma Donoghue Still hours of dark to go when I left the house that morning. A Murder By Any Name by Suzanne M Wolfe 'God's bollocks, girl! I'm freezing my tits off!' … Continue reading My Reading – September 2020
This is Happiness begins with the sky clearing and the rain stopping just after 3 o’clock on the Wednesday afternoon of Holy Week in 1958 while the people of Faha in county Clare are at Church. This is a rare occurrence in Faha as rain 'was a condition of living'. Seventeen-year-old Noel Crowe, known as … Continue reading Book Review – This is Happiness by Niall Williams
The Heretic Wind: The Life of Mary Tudor, Queen of England by Judith Arnopp I hate Autumn; I always have. Moominsummer Madness by Tove Jansson Moominmamma was sitting on the front steps in the sun, rigging a model bark schooner. This Is Happiness by Neill Williams Nobody in Faha could remember when it started.
To Calais in Ordinary Time by James Meek 'Cut me that rose,' demanded Berna of the gardeners. The Poppy Wife by Caroline Scott Edie doesn't hear the postman. Fair as a Star by Mimi Matthews Beryl Burnham stared out the window of the carriage as it rolled down the narrow country road that ran through … Continue reading My Reading – July 2020
Antonius: Son of Rome by Brook Allen Father was dead. The Moomins and the Great Flood by Tove Jansson It must have been late in the afternoon one day at the end of August when Moomintroll and his mother arrived at the deepest part of the great forest. The Long Take by Robin Robertson And … Continue reading My Reading – June 2020