Book Reviews

My Brilliant Friend

My Brilliant Friend Elena Ferrante The first in Ferrante’s series of novels set in and around Naples My Brilliant Friend concerns the early childhood and teenage years of the principal characters Elena and Lila. The writing is deft, expertly rendering the claustrophobic poverty and vendetta stricken streets of 1950s southern Italy. The lens of an […]

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A Countrywoman’s Diary

A Countrywoman’s Diary Bessie Skea The richness and timelessness of Skea’s prose draws the reader into the Orcadian landscape, gently lifting the veil of seeing out of habit rather than looking from their eyes. Bessie takes the reader through the seasons with joy, with humour and with an eye that is determined in the act […]

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This Must Be The Place

This Must Be The Place Maggie O’Farrell Each chapter of this novel could almost stand alone as a short story. Set in different places and times, and from varying perspectives, the different sections provide pieces of a jigsaw that forms the central narrative. While some are tangental – a list of items put up from […]

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Shooting An Elephant

  Shooting an Elephant George Orwell This book has sat sat on the bedside table for at least a year. It has been my in-between reads book. By that I do not wish to imply any shortcomings in its content, quite the opposite. It is a book which holds other writing to account. Even this […]

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Snow Falling On Cedars

Snow Falling on Cedars David Guterson Envy is an unattractive characteristic, for some it is a deadly sin. It feeds on itself insidiously, destroying and blotting out reason and sensibility of contentedness. Why is this my starting point for this review? Is it because this novel examines envy from every conceivable angle? Yes, Snow Falling […]

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Gabrielle Barnby