Book Review: Treacle Walker, Alan Garner

An introspective young boy, Joseph Coppock squints at the world with his lazy eye. Living alone in an old house, he reads comics, collects birds’ eggs and plays with his marbles. When, one day, a rag-and-bone man called Treacle Walker appears, exchanging an empty jar of a cure-all medicine and a donkey stone for a… Continue reading Book Review: Treacle Walker, Alan Garner

Book Review: The Book of Form and Emptiness, Ruth Ozeki

One year after the death of his beloved musician father, thirteen-year-old Benny Oh begins to hear voices. The voices belong to the things in his house - a sneaker, a broken Christmas ornament, a piece of wilted lettuce. Although Benny doesn't understand what these things are saying, he can sense their emotional tone; some are… Continue reading Book Review: The Book of Form and Emptiness, Ruth Ozeki

Book Review: The Death of Vivek Oji, Akwaeke Emezi

Raised by a distant father and an understanding but overprotective mother, Vivek suffers disorienting blackouts, moments of disconnection between self and surroundings. As adolescence gives way to adulthood, Vivek finds solace in friendships with the warm, boisterous daughters of the Nigerwives, foreign-born women married to Nigerian men. But Vivek’s closest bond is with Osita, the… Continue reading Book Review: The Death of Vivek Oji, Akwaeke Emezi

Book Review: Troubled Blood, Robert Galbraith

“They don’t disappear, the dead. It’d be easier if they did. I can see her so clearly. If she walked up those steps now, part of me wouldn’t be surprised. She was such a vivid person.” This fifth installment of Robert Galbraith's - yes, we all know it is J. K. Rowling - offers up… Continue reading Book Review: Troubled Blood, Robert Galbraith

Hamnet, Maggie O’Farrell

“Anyone, Eliza is thinking, who describes dying as ‘slipping away’ or ‘peaceful’ has never witnessed it happen. Death is violent, death is a struggle. The body clings to life, as ivy to a wall, and will not easily let go, will not surrender its grip without a fight.”

Starve Acre, Andrew Michael Hurley

Wow! This was deliciously dark and disturbing! An ideal creepy read for that strange, unsettling time between Christmas and the New Year, where no one quite knows what day of the week it is or how long they have left on holiday! I'd listened to The Loney by Hurley as an audiobook a little while… Continue reading Starve Acre, Andrew Michael Hurley

The Starless Sea, Erin Morgenstern

It has been an age since I read The Night Circus - so long ago that this blog did not exist - but I remember it as ephemeral, atmospheric, beautiful and moving. So the news this year that Morgenstern was bringing out another novel was huge - huge! So it was downloaded on the day… Continue reading The Starless Sea, Erin Morgenstern

Room, Emma Donoghue

This book had been on my to-read list since it was listed for The Booker Prize. The copy I had was electronic and just stopped about 20 pages in... And I never got round to replacing it. Until it cropped up whilst I was browsing on Audible. This was a perfect book for an audio… Continue reading Room, Emma Donoghue

The Testament of Mary, Colm Tóibín

I was hugely looking forward to this novel - although at 100 pages, novelette may be a more apt title - which failed to win the Man Booker prize last night. It is the story of Mary. That Mary. Mother of Jesus, Bearer of God, Theotokos, the Madonna. Of all figures to try to give… Continue reading The Testament of Mary, Colm Tóibín