REVIEW: The Familiars, Stacey Halls #BLOGTOUR

Tuesday, 8 October 2019


Young Fleetwood Shuttleworth, a noblewoman, is with child again. None of her previous pregnancies have borne fruit, and her husband, Richard, is anxious for an heir. Then Fleetwood discovers a hidden doctor’s letter that carries a dire prediction: she will not survive another birth. By chance she meets a midwife named Alice Grey, who promises to help her deliver a healthy baby. But Alice soon stands accused of witchcraft. Is there more to Alice than meets the eye? Fleetwood must risk everything to prove her innocence. As the two women’s lives become intertwined, the Witch Trials of 1612 loom. Time is running out; both their lives are at stake. Only they know the truth. Only they can save each other. 

REVIEW: The Flower Arranger, JJ Ellis #BLOGTOUR

Tuesday, 24 September 2019


"And now he knew what was wrong with the arrangement. It was the Ma… the negative space… There was only one thing beautiful enough to fill it and — finally — she was with him. Ready, if not willing, to play her role."
Holly Blain wants to cover real news. The entertainment beat — pop stars and teen trends — was not why she moved to Tokyo. When she meets Inspector Tetsu Tanaka, head of Tokyo’s Metropolitan Police’s Gaikoku-jin unit, it might just be her big break. Tanaka isn’t so sure. Always one to do things by the book, he’s hesitant about bringing this headstrong reporter into his carefully controlled investigation. But young women keep disappearing and Tanaka is given no choice. He and Blain must trust each other if they are to stop a tormented killer from bringing his twisted plan to its shocking conclusion. Filled with twists and turns, this unforgettable thriller is JJ Ellis’ first novel.

REVIEW: Mother Country, Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff

Friday, 20 September 2019


A leading new exploration of the Windrush generation featuring David Lammy, Lenny Henry, Corinne Bailey Rae, Sharmaine Lovegrove, Hannah Lowe, Jamz Supernova, Natasha Gordon and Rikki Beadle-Blair. For the pioneers of the Windrush generation, Britain was 'the Mother Country'. They made the long journey across the sea, expecting to find a place where they would be be welcomed with open arms; a land in which you were free to build a new life, eight thousand miles away from home. This remarkable book explores the reality of their experiences, and those of their children and grandchildren, through 22 unique real-life stories spanning more than 70 years.

REVIEW: Beautiful Boy, David Sheff

Wednesday, 18 September 2019


'What had happened to my beautiful boy? To our family? What did I do wrong?’ Those are the wrenching questions that haunted every moment of David Sheff’s journey through his son Nic’s addiction to drugs and tentative steps toward recovery. Before Nic Sheff became addicted to crystal meth, he was a charming boy, joyous and funny, a varsity athlete and honor student adored by his two younger siblings. After meth, he was a trembling wraith who lied, stole, and lived on the streets. With haunting candour, David Sheff traces the first subtle warning signs: the denial, the 3am phone calls (is it Nic? the police? the hospital?), the attempts at rehab. His preoccupation with Nic became an addiction in itself, and the obsessive worry and stress took a tremendous toll. But as a journalist, he instinctively researched every avenue of treatment that might save his son and refused to give up on Nic. This story is a first: a teenager's addiction from the parent's point of view – a real-time chronicle of the shocking descent into substance abuse and the gradual emergence into hope.

REVIEW: Kill the Black One First, Michael Fuller

Monday, 16 September 2019


A story about race, identity, belonging and displacement, Kill the Black One First is the memoir from Michael Fuller - Britain's first ever black Chief Constable, whose life and career is not only a stark representation of race relations in the UK, but also a unique morality tale of how humanity deals with life's injustices. Michael Fuller was born to Windrush-generation Jamaican immigrants in 1959, and experienced a meteoric career in policing, from the beat to the Brixton inferno, through cutting edge detective work to the frontline of drug-related crime and violence on London's most volatile estates.

REVIEW: I Who Have Never Known Men, Jacqueline Harpman

Thursday, 12 September 2019


Deep underground, thirty-nine women live imprisoned in a cage. Watched over by guards, the women have no memory of how they got there, no notion of time, and only vague recollection of their lives before. As the burn of electric light merges day into night and numberless years pass, a young girl - the fortieth prisoner - sits alone and outcast in the corner. Soon she will show herself to be the key to the others' escape and survival in the strange world that awaits them above ground.

REVIEW: In the Night Wood, Dale Bailey

Tuesday, 10 September 2019


Charles Hayden has been fascinated by a strange Victorian fairy tale, In the Night Wood, since he was a child. When his wife, Erin – a descendant of the author – inherits her ancestor’s house, the couple decide to make it their home. Still mourning the recent death of their daughter, they leave America behind, seeking a new beginning in the English countryside. But Hollow House, filled with secrets and surrounded by an ancient oak forest, is a place where the past seems very much alive. Isolated among the trees, Charles and Erin begin to feel themselves haunted – by echoes of the stories in the house’s library, by sightings of their daughter, and by something else, as old and dark as the forest around them.

REVIEW: The Paper Wasp, Lauren Acampora

Friday, 6 September 2019


Abby Graven is a dreamer. She dreams her way through her small, lonely life - hiding back at her parents, working at the grocery store. At night, she collects tabloid clippings that taunt her with Elise - her best friend, now Hollywood's hot new starlet. When a school reunion throws Elise in her path, Abby seizes her chance. With feverish certainty, she boards a one-way flight to LA to become Elise's assistant and enters her gauzy realm of film sets and glamorous actors. But behind Elise's glossy magazine veneer, she is drowning in Hollywood's vicious social cycle. Ever the devoted friend, Abby conceals her own burning desire for greatness. For she is smarter than Elise. More talented. A true artist. And as she edges closer to her own ambitions, Abby can see only one way to make her dream come true.

August Book Haul

Sunday, 25 August 2019



“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” -- Charles W. Eliot

REVIEW: The Sea Cloak and Other Stories, Nayrouz Qarmout

Wednesday, 21 August 2019


The Sea Cloak is a collection of 14 stories by the author, journalist, and women's rights campaigner, Nayrouz Qarmout. Drawing from her own experiences growing up in a Syrian refugee camp, as well as her current life in Gaza, these stories stitch together a patchwork of different perspectives into what it means to be a woman in Palestine today. Whether following the daily struggles of orphaned children fighting to survive in the rubble of recent bombardments, or mapping the complex, cultural tensions between different generations of refugees in wider Gazan society, these stories offer rare insights into one of the most talked about, but least understood cities in the Middle East. Taken together, the collection affords us a local perspective on a global story, and it does so thanks to a cast of (predominantly female) characters whose vantage point is rooted, firmly, in that most cherished of things, the home.

REVIEW: Adele, Leïla Slimani

Monday, 19 August 2019


Adèle appears to have the perfect life. A respected journalist, she lives in a flawless Parisian apartment with her surgeon husband and their young son. But beneath the veneer of 'having it all', she is bored - and consumed by an insatiable need for sex, whatever the cost. Struggling to contain the twin forces of compulsion and desire, she begins to orchestrate her life around her one night stands and extramarital affairs, arriving late to work and lying to her husband about where she's been, until she becomes ensnared in a trap of her own making.
An erotic and daring story - with electrically clear writing - Adèle will captivate readers with its exploration of addiction, sexuality, and one woman's quest to feel alive.

REVIEW: The Western Wind, Samantha Harvey

Thursday, 15 August 2019



15th century Oakham, in Somerset; a tiny village cut off by a big river with no bridge. When a man is swept away by the river in the early hours of Shrove Saturday, an explanation has to be found: accident, suicide or murder? The village priest, John Reve, is privy to many secrets in his role as confessor. But will he be able to unravel what happened to the victim, Thomas Newman, the wealthiest, most capable and industrious man in the village? And what will happen if he can’t?
Moving back in time towards the moment of Thomas Newman’s death, the story is related by Reve – an extraordinary creation, a patient shepherd to his wayward flock, and a man with secrets of his own to keep. 

REVIEW: Old Baggage, Lissa Evans

Tuesday, 13 August 2019


It is 1928. Matilda Simpkin, rooting through a cupboard, comes across a small wooden club – an old possession of hers, unseen for more than a decade.
Mattie is a woman with a thrilling past and a chafingly uneventful present. During the Women’s Suffrage Campaign she was a militant. Jailed five times, she marched, sang, gave speeches, smashed windows and heckled Winston Churchill, and nothing – nothing – since then has had the same depth, the same excitement.
Now in middle age, she is still looking for a fresh mould into which to pour her energies. Giving the wooden club a thoughtful twirl, she is struck by an idea – but what starts as a brilliantly idealistic plan is derailed by a connection with Mattie’s militant past, one which begins to threaten every principle that she stands for.

REVIEW: The Little Snake, A.L. Kennedy

Friday, 9 August 2019


This is the story of Mary, a young girl born in a beautiful city full of rose gardens and fluttering kites. When she is still very small, Mary meets Lanmo, a shining golden snake, who becomes her very best friend. The snake visits Mary many times, he sees her city change, become sadder as bombs drop and war creeps in. He sees Mary and her family leave their home, he sees her grow up and he sees her fall in love. But Lanmo knows that the day will come when he can no longer visit Mary, when his destiny will break them apart, and he wonders whether having a friend can possibly be worth the pain of knowing you will lose them.

REVIEW: For the Love of Books, Graham Tarrant

Wednesday, 7 August 2019


Which famous author died of caffeine poisoning? Why Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was banned in China? Who was the first British writer to win the Nobel Prize in Literature? What superstitions Truman Capote kept whenever he wrote? Who the other Winston Churchill was? A treasure trove of compelling facts, riveting anecdotes, and extraordinary characters, For the Love of Books is a book about books—and the inside stories about the people who write them. Learn how books evolved, what lies behind some of the greatest tales ever told, and who’s really who in the world of fiction. From banned books to famous feuding authors, from literary felons to rejected masterpieces, from tips for aspiring writers to stand-out book lists for readers to catch up on, For the Love of Books is a celebration of the written word and an absolute page-turner for any book lover.

REVIEW: I Know Who You Are, Alice Feeney

Monday, 5 August 2019


When Aimee comes home and discovers her husband is missing, she doesn’t seem to know what to do or how to act. The police think she’s hiding something and they’re right, she is – but perhaps not what they thought. Aimee has a secret she’s never shared, and yet, she suspects that someone knows. As she struggles to keep her career and sanity intact, her past comes back to haunt her in ways more dangerous than she could have ever imagined.

Books I Want to Read in August

Saturday, 3 August 2019


Another month, another stack of books to read.
I am quite liking these posts, however infrequently I post them; they give some sort of structure to my reading life and stop me from spiralling into crisis when the time comes to choose my next read. I have a lot of books, after-all, with more and more coming in all of the time, so often it feels as though there are too many options.
I have high hopes for these particular ones though, even despite the fact that recent history, points to the contrary. Some are nominated for prizes, some are critically-acclaimed and all of them have managed to garner my attention more than 600-or-so other books I own.
Let us just hope that they manage to keep it.

REVIEW: Miracle Creek, Angie Kim #BLOGTOUR

Tuesday, 30 July 2019


In rural Virginia, Young and Pak Yoo run an experimental medical treatment device known as the Miracle Submarine - a pressurised oxygen chamber that patients enter for "dives", used as an alternative therapy for conditions including autism and infertility. But when the Miracle Submarine mysteriously explodes, killing two people, a dramatic murder trial upends the Yoos' small community. Who or what caused the explosion? Was it the mother of one of the patients, who claimed to be sick that day but was smoking down by the creek? Or was it Young and Pak themselves, hoping to cash in on a big insurance payment and send their daughter to college? The ensuing trial uncovers unimaginable secrets from that night: trysts in the woods, mysterious notes, child-abuse charges, as well as tense rivalries and alliances among a group of people driven to extraordinary degrees of desperation and sacrifice.

July Book Haul

Sunday, 28 July 2019


I can never read all the books I want; I can never be all the people I want and live all the lives I want. I can never train myself in all the skills I want. And why do I want? I want to live and feel all the shades, tones and variations of mental and physical experience possible in my life. And I am horribly limited.” ― Sylvia Plath

The Booker Prize 2019 - Longlist (& Plan of Action!)

Wednesday, 24 July 2019


“If you only read one book this year, make a leap. Read all 13 of these. There are Nobel candidates and debutants on this list. There are no favourites; they are all credible winners. They imagine our world, familiar from news cycle disaster and grievance, with wild humour, deep insight and a keen humanity. These writers offer joy and hope. They celebrate the rich complexity of English as a global language. They are exacting, enlightening and entertaining. Really – read all of them.”
Chair of the 2019 judges, Peter Florence

REVIEW: Daisy Jones and the Six, Taylor Jenkins-Reid

Monday, 22 July 2019


Drift down sun-bleached streets. Lose yourself in the California sound. Find beauty in a dirty bar. Love like your life depends on it. Carry on after the party stops. Believe in what you’re fighting for. Fall for Daisy Jones and the Six.
Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the reason behind their split at the absolute height of their popularity... until now. Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it’s the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she’s twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things. Also getting noticed is The Six, a band led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she’s pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road. Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes that the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.

The Booker Prize 2019 - Longlist Predictions

Saturday, 20 July 2019

In my mind, the Booker Prize has always been the pièce de résistance of the literary world.
Ishiguro, Atwood, McEwan, to win is to write your name on the list of literary giants that will be remembered across the centuries. To never, if the whim takes you, write a book again because having won the prize, you have achieved a seal of approval (a metaphorical finish line, if you will) that can never be beaten.
I do not why I have always placed it in esteem above the Pulitzer, or even the Nobel Prize for Literature (a symptom, probably, of the fact that I am British and therefore programmed to think all that we do, is superior to the actions of the rest of the world) but, to win the Booker has always had the place in my mind of being the ultimate achievement.
And, this carries on to the reader - to me, and my endless need to push my reading, my vocabulary and my comprehension. Because I have attempted, year after year, to read and truly understand the long-list and the eventual winner and I think, now, at the age of twenty-three, I may be finally getting somewhere.
And, because I have become more well-read and pretentious over the last few years, I think that I can claim (I have always been premature, I can admit to that) that this prize season, I might actually have some chance of predicting the long-list that will beguile and frustrate and escape me over the next few months.
I might.

REVIEW: Gods of Jade and Shadow, Silvia Moreno-Garcia #BLOGTOUR

Thursday, 18 July 2019


The Jazz Age is in full swing, but it's passing Casiopea Tun by. She's too busy scrubbing floors in her wealthy grandfather's house to do anything more than dream of a life far from her dusty, small town in southern Mexico. A life she could call her own.
This dream is impossible, distant as the stars - until the day Casiopea opens a curious chest in her grandfather's room and accidentally frees an ancient Mayan god of death. He offers her a deal: if Casiopea helps him recover his throne from his treacherous brother, he will grant her whatever she desires. Success will make her every dream come true, but failure will see her lost, for ever.
In the company of the strangely alluring god and armed only with her wits, Casiopea begins an adventure that will take her on a cross-country odyssey, from the jungles of Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City and deep into the darkness of Xibalba, the Mayan underworld.

REVIEW: Saltwater, Jessica Andrews

Tuesday, 16 July 2019


When Lucy wins a place at university, she thinks London will unlock her future. It is a city alive with pop up bars, cool girls and neon lights illuminating the Thames at night. At least this is what Lucy expects, having grown up seemingly a world away in working-class Sunderland, amid legendary family stories of Irish immigrants and boarding houses, now-defunct ice rinks and an engagement ring at a fish market. Yet Lucy's transition to a new life is more overwhelming than she ever expected. As she works long shifts to make ends meet and navigates chaotic parties from East London warehouses to South Kensington mansions, she still feels like an outsider among her fellow students. When things come to a head at her graduation, Lucy takes off for Ireland, seeking solace in her late grandfather's cottage and the wild landscape that surrounds it, wondering if she can piece together who she really is.

Stranger Things Book Tag

Sunday, 14 July 2019


I know that I am far from the only person riding the Stranger Things hype train right now (toot toot). Bursting onto the scene in 2017, that innocuous little Netflix series with a penchant for eighties kitsch has become a worldwide, all-consuming pop culture phenomenon.
It seems to be all that the newspapers, magazines, the internet and the blogosphere can talk about; and it is a trend that is probably going to be continuing, even throughout the next few days and months as word of mouth spreads and everyone gets around to watching it.
It is absolutely everywhere; unavoidable, unmissable, inescapable. People put aside days to binge-watch it; the clock strikes twelve and they just can not help but to jump the gun and drive right back in to the world of Hawkins, Indiana. It dominates conversations, it spawns debate, it engages a form of nostalgia that just makes you want to watch Stand by Me and The Goonies for the sixtieth time.
There are dedicated Facebook groups, fancy dress costumes, Funko! pops and now - now! - I have even stumbled upon a book tag. And though, I tried my hardest to resist, I just could not help myself when it came to turning something so big into a thing I could use to discuss books.
After-all, what is better way to celebrate your love for something than to turn it into a book tag?

REVIEW: Proud, Juno Dawson

Friday, 12 July 2019


A stirring, bold and moving anthology of stories and poetry by top LGBTQ+ YA authors and new talent, giving their unique responses to the broad theme of pride. Each story has an illustration by an artist identifying as part of the LGBTQ+ community. Compiled by Juno Dawson, author of THIS BOOK IS GAY and CLEAN. A celebration of LGBTQ+ talent, PROUD is a thought-provoking, funny, emotional read.

REVIEW: A Secondhand Life, Pamela Crane

Wednesday, 10 July 2019


In a freak collision when she was twelve, Mia Germaine faced death and the loss of her father. A heart transplant from a young murder victim saved her life, but not without a price. Twenty years later, chilling nightmares about an unresolved homicide begin to plague Mia. Compelled by these lost memories, she forms a complicated connection to the victim—the girl killed the night of Mia’s accident—due to a scientific phenomenon called “organ memory.”
Now suffocating beneath the weight of avenging a dead girl and catching a serial killer on the loose dubbed the “Triangle Terror,” Mia must dodge her own demons while unimaginable truths torment her—along with a killer set on making her his next victim. 
As Mia tries to determine if her dreams are clues or disturbing phantasms, uninvited spectres lead her further into danger’s path, costing her the one person who can save her from herself. 

REVIEW: Dead Girls, Alice Bolin

Monday, 8 July 2019


A collection of poignant, perceptive essays that expertly blends the personal and political in an exploration of American culture through the lens of our obsession with dead women.
In her debut collection, Alice Bolin turns a critical eye to literature and pop culture, the way media consumption reflects American society, and her own place within it. From essays on Joan Didion and James Baldwin to Twin Peaks, Britney Spears, and Serial, Bolin illuminates our widespread obsession with women who are abused, killed, and disenfranchised, and whose bodies (dead and alive) are used as props to bolster a man’s story.
From chronicling life in Los Angeles to dissecting the “Dead Girl Show” to analyzing literary witches and werewolves, this collection challenges the narratives we create and tell ourselves, delving into the hazards of toxic masculinity and those of white womanhood. Beginning with the problem of dead women in fiction, it expands to the larger problems of living women—both the persistent injustices they suffer and the oppression that white women help perpetrate.

REVIEW: All the Hidden Truths, Claire Askew

Thursday, 4 July 2019


All the Hidden Truths is the story of a tragic shooting at an Edinburgh college and its aftermath. It is narrated by three women at the heart of the story - the mother of a victim and the mother of the shooter, and DI Helen Birch who is tasked in solving the case. The book is both a "knotty crime novel" and a story of grief "trying to make sense of something that defies reason".

June Book Haul

Sunday, 30 June 2019


June, as most months seem to be when I have my debit card to hand, was a time that presented a plethora opportunities to expand my physical and digital libraries - a confused foray into the databases of Edelweiss, a stint volunteering at Bradford Literature Festival (let me know if you, at any point, want to read about my sticky, overheated hours there) and, yet more background information books for the novel I will probably never write.
Although, even my grandma has to admit that they both look beautiful - all overflowing and cluttered and likely never to be read. At least, never to be read anywhere close to their actual release dates.

Review Round-Up - June

Friday, 28 June 2019


Au revoir, Pride 2019. Let us not forget that, as we move forward into the rest of the year, to paint all of the eleven months with the same love and pride and, of course, all of the colours of the rainbow.

#2019RoundUp: Favourite Books (So Far!)

Wednesday, 26 June 2019


Oh, it has been a long six months. Six months of bleugh, six months of eh.
Six months of hey-wait-a-minute-you're-actually-bloody-brilliant.
It almost seems that, through the trials and tribulations of books that were overwhelmingly just not up to par, the rare quality and occurrence of truly amazing books only succeeded in making me appreciate them more when they did appear.
Allowed me to separate the wheat from the chaff, the luminous prose from the bog-standard, the life-altering from the just-another-day-at-the-office.
And, is that not why I do this? Trolling near-continuously through just-okay to find the books that will make me pause and think, this - THIS! - right here is what a book is meant to be. And, by god, I thought just that with all of these.

Mid-Year Book Freak-Out Tag

Saturday, 22 June 2019


For once, there is no expression of disbelief to be uttered here.
As, at least when it comes to books, it has been a long, six months.

REVIEW: Don't Touch My Hair, Emma Dabiri

Thursday, 20 June 2019


Straightened. Stigmatised. 'Tamed'. Celebrated. Erased. Managed. Appropriated. Forever misunderstood. Black hair is never 'just hair'. This book is about why black hair matters. Emma Dabiri takes us from pre-colonial Africa, through the Harlem Renaissance, Black Power and on to today's Natural Hair Movement, the Cultural Appropriation Wars and beyond. We look at everything from hair capitalists like Madam C.J. Walker in the early 1900s to the rise of Shea Moisture today, from women's solidarity and friendship to 'black people time', forgotten African scholars and the dubious provenance of Kim Kardashian's braids. The scope of black hairstyling ranges from pop culture to cosmology, from prehistoric times to the (afro)futuristic. Uncovering sophisticated indigenous mathematical systems in black hairstyles, alongside styles that served as secret intelligence networks leading enslaved Africans to freedom, Don't Touch My Hair proves that far from being only hair, black hairstyling culture can be understood as an allegory for black oppression and, ultimately, liberation.

REVIEW: Diary of a Drag Queen, Crystal Rasmussen

Tuesday, 18 June 2019


Northern, working-class and shagging men three times her age, Crystal writes candidly about her search for ‘the one’; sleeping with a VIP in an attempt to become a world famous journalist; getting hired and fired by a well-known fashion magazine; being torn between losing weight and gorging on KFC; and her need for constant sexual satisfaction (and where that takes her). Charting her day-to-day adventures over the course of a year, we encounter tucks, twists and sucks, heinous overspending and endless nights spent sprinting from problem to problem in a full face of make-up. This is a place where the previously unspeakable becomes the commendable – a unique portrayal of the queer experience.

REVIEW: Beauty Bay Ethereal Bouncy Beam Multi Use Highlighter Palette

Sunday, 16 June 2019


When I got my hands on the Beauty Bay nine-pan matte eyeshadow palettes (my review for the orange-toned one can be found here), it was pretty much love at first sight. The colour pay-off was to die for, the staying-power was immense (except for on a rather unfortunate day that paired the wedding of one of my dearest friends with an attack of both out-of-the-blue pollen and a shower of confetti but let's be honest here, nothing could have handled that) and at the small price of just £6.50*, it went toe-to-toe against even the most expensive items in my make-up collection.
And I knew, right then, that I needed to pick up more from the Beauty Bay range.

REVIEW: This Brutal House, Niven Govinden

Friday, 14 June 2019


On the steps of New York's City Hall, five ageing Mothers sit in silent protest. They are the guardians of the vogue ball community - queer men who opened their hearts and homes to countless lost Children, providing safe spaces for them to explore their true selves. Through epochs of city nightlife, from draconian to liberal, the Children have been going missing; their absences ignored by the authorities and uninvestigated by the police. In a final act of dissent the Mothers have come to pray: to expose their personal struggle beneath our age of protest, and commemorate their loss until justice is served. Watching from City Hall's windows is city clerk, Teddy. Raised by the Mothers, he is now charged with brokering an uneasy truce. With echoes of James Baldwin, Marilynne Robinson and Rachel Kushner, Niven Govinden asks what happens when a generation remembered for a single, lavish decade has been forced to grow up, and what it means to be a parent in a confused and complex society.

REVIEW: Picture of Innocence, T J Stimson

Wednesday, 12 June 2019


My name is Lydia. I’m 12 years old. I’m not an evil person, but I did something bad. My name is Maddie. I’d never hurt my son. But can I be sure if I don’t remember?
With three children under ten, Maddie is struggling. On the outside, she’s a happy young mother, running a charity as well as a household. But inside, she’s exhausted. She knows she’s lucky to have to have a support network around her. Not just her loving husband, but her family and friends too. But is Maddie putting her trust in the right people? Because when tragedy strikes, she is certain someone has hurt her child – and everyone is a suspect, including Maddie herself… The women in this book are about to discover that looks can be deceiving… because anyone is capable of terrible things. Even the most innocent, even you. This is the story of every mother's worst fear. But it's not a story you know... and nothing is what it seems.

REVIEW: Boy in the Well, Douglas Lindsay

Monday, 10 June 2019


The body of a young boy is discovered at the bottom of a well that has been sealed for two hundred years. Yet the corpse is only days old... No one comes forward to identify #Boy9, and DI Ben Westphall's only suspects are the farmers on whose land the well sits. They certainly seem as though they have something to hide. But it might not be what he thinks. Soon, similarities from an old crime emerge and Westphall must look to the past to piece together the dark and twisted events taking place in the present.

Most Anticipated Book Releases - June 2019

Thursday, 6 June 2019


Admittedly, when it comes to June 2019, appealing new releases lean closer to slim pickings than other, earlier months in the year. But, fortunately, here at Reminders of the Changing Time, we have always been ones to prize quality over quantity.

Happy Pride Month: Books I Want to Read in June

Sunday, 2 June 2019


Do you know what? I woke up this morning with my heart full of love.
And, I know that sounds strange, but I really did. There is just something about Pride Month that really does make me feel proud; that makes me stop for a moment and reflect on the fact that, no matter how fucking horrible the world is right now, there is still love out there. 
There is still compassion, still happiness, still pride.
So, I just want you to know: no matter where you are, no matter who you love, no matter how alone you feel, I love you. I hold you in my heart and I think of you often because, without you, I would not be able to stand here and feel proud.

Review Round-Up - May

May Book Haul

Saturday, 25 May 2019


Whilst April's book haul was reasonable, May's is admittedly rather less so. But, with the final hand-in date of this year's essays taking place on the 28th, June will surely ensure an uninterrupted month of reading in which some of these books may even be looked at.

REVIEW: When All is Said, Anne Griffin

Thursday, 23 May 2019


Five toasts. Five people. One lifetime. "I’m here to remember – all that I have been and all that I will never be again." At the bar of a grand hotel in a small Irish town sits 84-year-old Maurice Hannigan. He’s alone, as usual – though tonight is anything but. Pull up a stool and charge your glass, because Maurice is finally ready to tell his story. Over the course of this evening, he will raise five toasts to the five people who have meant the most to him. Through these stories – of unspoken joy and regret, a secret tragedy kept hidden, a fierce love that never found its voice – the life of one man will be powerfully and poignantly laid bare. Heart-breaking and heart-warming all at once, the voice of Maurice Hannigan will stay with you long after all is said.

REVIEW: Look For Me, Lisa Gardner

Tuesday, 21 May 2019


Detective DD Warren and Flora Dane are in a race against time to save a young girl's life - or bring her to justice. A family home has become a crime scene. Five people are involved: four of them have been savagely murdered; one - a sixteen-year-old girl - is missing. Was she lucky to have escaped? Or is her absence evidence of something sinister? Detective D. D. Warren is on the case, as is survivor-turned-avenger Flora Dane. Seeking different types of justice, they must make sense of the clues left behind by a young woman who, as victim or suspect, is silently pleading, "Look for me".

Try a Chapter: Mystery/Thrillers #3

Sunday, 19 May 2019


I always think that, with the Try a Chapter tag, it is almost as though I am miming actually leaving my house and going to a bookshop. It is as though I am sat on the floor, flicking through one and then another; drawn in by the pretty covers, but convinced by what is inside.
Because, if I had bought them in-person, as opposed to fluttering my eyelashes and somehow convincing a publisher to send me a digital copy of them, that is what I would have done to narrow down the choices and pick a winner.
After-all, nobody wants to waste all of their hard-earned pennies on a shit book.
And, I have found, when it comes to mysteries/thrillers/mystery-thrillers, it is pretty easy to tell from the first few pages when a book is just not up to scratch. Which is why, every time I get sent five or six of them on NetGalley, I toddle off to my room (I have just bought some yellow and grey dachshund bedding, so it is super cute and not at all mysterious and/or thrilling right now) and plan out this post, so that you all know which ones to lust after, and which ones to leave behind.

REVIEW: My Sister is Missing, Carissa Ann Lynch

Friday, 17 May 2019


A twenty-year-old local mystery that has never been solved. A bone-chilling VHS tape depicting a horrific crime. Neighbors with something to hide. And a sister who is missing. Emily has to find out the truth. But is her sister Madeline the victim… or the one to blame?

REVIEW: Social Creature, Tara Isabella Burton

Wednesday, 15 May 2019


Louise is struggling to survive in New York; juggling a series of poorly paid jobs, renting a shabby flat, being catcalled by her creepy neighbour, she dreams of being a writer. And then one day she meets Lavinia. Lavinia who has everything – looks, money, clothes, friends, an amazing apartment… Lavinia invites Louise into her charmed circle, takes her to the best underground speakeasies, the opera, shares her clothes, her drugs, her Uber account. Louise knows that this can’t last for ever, but just how far is she prepared to go to have this life? Or rather, to have Lavinia’s life?

REVIEW: Case Histories, Kate Atkinson

Monday, 13 May 2019


Cambridge is sweltering, during an unusually hot summer. To Jackson Brodie, former police inspector turned private investigator, the world consists of one accounting sheet - Lost on the left, Found on the right - and the two never seem to balance. Surrounded by death, intrigue and misfortune, his own life haunted by a family tragedy, Jackson attempts to unravel three disparate case histories and begins to realise that in spite of apparent diversity, everything is connected...


REVIEW: Little Darlings, Melanie Golding

Thursday, 9 May 2019


Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things. A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley—to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies. Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life. Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some of our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking—and rechecking—your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.