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.