Deeplight, Frances Hardinge

Some authors deserve a fanfare when they are about to publish and Frances Hardinge is one of those! A new novel from Hardinge is a thing of joy! She is one of those authors who seem to have never put a foot wrong in their writing: plots, impeccable; characters, vivid and real; language, beautiful and…

The Man Who Saw Everything, Deborah Levy

Disclaimer: Received from NetGalley and the publisher, Penguin, in exchange for an honest review. There are some novels which flow fluidly like a river. Others are curved and twisted. Others are very linear taking a route from inciting incident to resolution without a deviation. Others are shaped like a tree, branching and dividing but never…

One Good Turn, Kate Atkinson

Read with caution: Cleaning companies may never be the same again! I’ve come to Kate Atkinson late in her career: I can recall surprisingly vividly my mother’s water damaged, crinkly paper copy of Behind the Scenes at the Museum teetering on the side of the bath – an avocado kitsch bath – from my childhood…

Wakenhyrst, Michelle Paver

This was my first Paver read having heard some good things about her, and it thrust me straight into a solid Gothic historical yarn with some genuinely creepy moments! The novel is perhaps misnamed: it focuses on the house Wake’s End set beside the local fen, some three miles from the village of Wakenhyrst; and,…

The Priory of the Orange Tree, Samantha Shannon

It is no secret that I love my fantasy. I cut my reading teeth on fantasy – thank you Tolkien and Eddings and so many others! I love the way that the freedom of a fantasy world can throw a light into the contemporary. I love the sheer fun and spectacle that can come with…

The Comforts of Home, Susan Hill

How does Simon Serrailler recover from a vicious assault at the hands of paedophiles, which left him on the verge of death? How does Serrailler manage his post-traumatic stress disorder? Entry number nine in Susan Hill’s DCS Simon Serrailler series picks up where the previous novel, The Soul of Discretion, finishes: Serrailler is in hospital…

The Pisces, Melissa Broder

Why is it that the words of female sexuality – and of female anatomy – are either rendered taboo or fetishised in our society ? Vagina. Clitoris. Vulva. Menstruation. Compared to “cock”, there is a different quality in these words. A frisson of shock and challenge. And that is a frisson which Broder does not…

Circe, Madeline Miller

Divine days fall like water from a cataract, and I had not learned yet the mortal trick of counting them.

My Sister, the Serial Killer, Oyinkan Braithwaite

Next up, from the Women’s Prize Longlist came Oyinkan Braithwaite’s My Sister, the Serial Killer, an interesting parallel to Akwaeke Emezi’s Freshwater. It is an intriguing little novel – a mere 240 pages, for those for whom that is relevant, not much more than a day or weekend’s read – and remarkably effective in the…