Review Round-Up - April

Women’s Prize for Fiction Shortlist 2019: Thoughts

Which Game of Thrones Character Am I?

Thursday, 25 April 2019


After debating over the last few weeks as to whether or not I would be actually tuning in this season, the Twitter hype-train over the last few weeks, has tossed me right back into the fervour of the Game of Thrones television series obsession.
I am a book purist, if you had not already noticed (this website is a book blog, after-all), so the chopping and changing, and the slightly convoluted decisions of a George R.R. Martin-free season always sets my teeth on edge. But, so far, so good.
Although, this conclusion might be wholly influenced by the fact that you can now get Hodor doorstops in Primark.

April Book Haul

Sunday, 21 April 2019


Well, well, well. It has been a while, hasn't it?
It turns out that I buy too many books. I know; a shock to absolutely nobody.
Which means that, creating a blog post that hauls them all (especially when you leave everything to very last second like I do), took far too much time and/or effort. But now that a month has come around where I haven't bought 40+ books, I thought now would be the perfect time to restart an old series and make a concerted effort to bring hauls back to Reminders of the Changing Time.
Although, how long it will last is anyone's guess.

REVIEW: The Retreat, Mark Edwards

Friday, 19 April 2019


A missing child. A desperate mother. And a house full of secrets. Two years ago, Julia lost her family in a tragic accident. Her husband drowned trying to save their daughter, Lily, in the river near their rural home. But the little girl’s body was never found—and Julia believes Lily is somehow still alive. Alone and broke, Julia opens her house as a writers’ retreat. One of the first guests is Lucas, a horror novelist, who becomes obsessed with finding out what happened to Lily. But within days of his arrival, the peace of the retreat is shattered by a series of eerie events. When Lucas’s investigation leads him and Julia into the woods, they discover a dark secret—a secret that someone will do anything to protect… What really happened that day by the river? Why was Lily never found? And who, or what, is haunting the retreat?

REVIEW: Henry VIII and the Men Who Made Him, Tracy Borman

Wednesday, 17 April 2019


Henry VIII is well known for his tumultuous relationships with women, and he is often defined by his many marriages. But what do we see if we take a different look? When we see Henry through the men in his life, a new perspective on this famous king emerges... Henry's relationships with the men who surrounded him reveal much about his beliefs, behaviour and character. They show him to be capable of fierce, but seldom abiding loyalty; of raising men only to destroy them later. He loved to be attended and entertained by boisterous young men who shared his passion for sport, but at other times he was more diverted by men of intellect, culture and wit. Often trusting and easily led by his male attendants and advisers during the early years of his reign, he matured into a profoundly suspicious and paranoid king whose favour could be suddenly withdrawn, as many of his later servants found to their cost. His cruelty and ruthlessness would become ever more apparent as his reign progressed, but the tenderness that he displayed towards those he trusted proves that he was never the one-dimensional monster that he is often portrayed as.

REVIEW: The Lady in the Cellar, Sinclair McKay

Monday, 15 April 2019


Number 4 Euston Square was a respectable boarding house, well-kept and hospitable, like many others in Victorian London. But beneath this very ordinary veneer, there was a murderous darkness at the heart of this particular house. On 8th May 1879, the corpse of former resident, Matilda Hacker, was uncovered by chance in the coal cellar. The investigation that followed this macabre discovery stripped bare the shadow-side of Victorian domesticity, throwing the lives of everyone within into an extraordinary and destructive maelstrom. For someone in Number 4 Euston Square must have had full knowledge of what had happened to Matilda Hacker. Someone in that house had killed her. How could the murderer prove so amazingly elusive?

REVIEW: Mudbound, Hillary Jordan

Thursday, 11 April 2019


This captivating story set in the Mississippi Delta features city-bred Laura McAllan, a woman struggling to adjust to life on her husband’s isolated farm, her brother-in-law, Jamie, newly home from the Second World War, and Ronsel Jackson, son of the black sharecroppers who work the McAllan land and himself a war hero. When the two men refuse to live by Mississippi’s strict racial mores, tragedy ensues. 

REVIEW: #FashionVictim, Amina Akhtar

Tuesday, 9 April 2019


Fashion editor Anya St. Clair is on the verge of greatness. Her wardrobe is to die for. Her social media is killer. And her career path is littered with the bodies of anyone who got in her way. She’s worked hard to get where she is, but she doesn’t have everything. Not like Sarah Taft. Anya’s obsession sits one desk away. Beautiful, stylish, and rich, she was born to be a fashion world icon. From her beach-wave blonde hair to her on-trend nail art, she’s a walking editorial spread. And Anya wants to be her friend. Her best friend. Her only friend. But when Sarah becomes her top competition for a promotion, Anya’s plan to win her friendship goes into overdrive. In order to beat Sarah…she’ll have to become her. Friendly competition may turn fatal, but as they say in fashion: One day you’re in, and the next day you’re dead.

REVIEW: City of Light, Rupert Christiansen

Friday, 5 April 2019


In 1853, French emperor Louis Napoleon inaugurated a vast and ambitious program of public works in Paris, directed by Georges-Eugène Haussmann, the prefect of the Seine. Haussmann transformed the old medieval city of squalid slums and disease-ridden alleyways into a "City of Light" characterized by wide boulevards, apartment blocks, parks, squares and public monuments, new rail stations and department stores, and a new system of public sanitation. City of Light charts this fifteen-year project of urban renewal which--despite the interruptions of war, revolution, corruption, and bankruptcy--set a template for nineteenth and early twentieth-century urban planning and created the enduring landscape of modern Paris now so famous around the globe.

REVIEW: The Lost Properties of Love, Sophie Ratcliffe

Wednesday, 3 April 2019


What if you could tell the truth about who you are, without risking losing the one you love? This is a book about love affairs and why we choose to have them; a book for anyone who has ever loved and wondered what it is all about. This is a book about the things we hide from other people. Love affairs, grief, domestic strife and the mess at the bottom of your handbag. Part memoir, part imagined history, in The Lost Properties of Love, Sophie Ratcliffe combines her own experience of childhood bereavement, a past lover, the reality about motherhood and marriage, with undiscovered stories about Tolstoy and trains, handbags and honeymoons to muse on the messiness of everyday life. An extended train journey frames the action – and the author turns not to self-help manuals but to the fictions that have shaped our emotional and romantic landscape. Readers will find themselves propelled into Anna Karenina’s world of steam, commuting down the Northern Line, and checking out a New York El-train with Anthony Trollope’s forgotten muse, Kate Field. As scenes in her own life collide with the stories of real and imaginary heroines, The Lost Properties of Love asks how we might find new ways of thinking about love and intimacy in the twenty-first century.