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
A little while ago I saw a quote from the American novelist Gloria Naylor - 'One should be able to return to the first sentence of a novel and find the resonances of the entire work.' Other than in consciously literary works, I wondered how often this happened so I took a few favourite books … Continue reading In my beginning is my end? – Opening and closing lines
The Mirror and the Light by Hilary MantelOnce the queen's head is severed, he walks away. Fair Play by Tove JanssonJonna had a happy habit of waking each morning as if to a new life.
The Gatekeeper by Charles Todd Ian Rutledge drove through the night, his mind only partly on the road unwinding before him. A Divided Loyalty by Charles Todd Ian Rutledge was walking down the stairs at Scotland Yard when he met Chief Inspector Leslie coming up them two at a time. Loxley: The Chronicles of Robin … Continue reading My Reading – April 2020
The Good Turn by Dervla McTiernanThe waiting room was ugly and neglected. A Slanting of the Sun by Donal RyanShe cries sometimes, without noise. Ten Doors Down: the story of an extraordinary adoption reunion by Robert TicknerI have a date with destiny this Sydney summer day in late January 1993. The Black Ascot by Charles … Continue reading My Reading – March 2020
The First Blast of the Trumpet by Marie Macpherson 'There's no rhyme nor reason to it. Your destiny is already laid doon.' The Blood Miracles by Lisa McInerney This, like so many of Ryan Cusack's fuck-ups, begins with ecstasy. All We Shall Know by Donal Ryan Martin Toppy is the son of a famous Traveller … Continue reading My Reading – February 2020
There was Still Love by Favel ParrettThere are suitcases everywhere. A Pale View of Hills by Kazuo IshiguroNiki, the name we finally gave my younger daughter, is not an abbreviation; it was a compromise I reached with her father. Springtime : A Ghost Story by Michelle de KretserThat spring, Frances walked along the river every … Continue reading My Reading – January 2020