Deborah Levy’s Swimming Home

Summer is drawing to a close but I am holding on with one last sizzling novel; Deborah Levy’s Swimming Home. After re-visiting Levy’s brilliant Hot Milk it reminded me how much I had wanted to read her earlier story which similarly takes place on a family vacation.  Swimming Home had me gripped right from the…

What to read on a hot day

We have been particularly blessed with hot weather in the UK lately. While this may not be surprising to hear, given that it is summer, it is ironically unusual in Britain. So, imagine a day with endless sun where you have the luxury of nothing to do except sit outside and read… which book is…

The art of storytelling

In Diane Setterfield’s Once Upon a River, Newman is trying to tell a story to the fellow regulars at the Swan Inn, nestled on the bank of the Thames. The endeavour proves difficult as Newman struggles to find the right words to say, but he is told by one Owen Albright that events in a…

Lost in Norwegian Wood

Norwegian Wood is the kind of book which stays with you for a long time after reading. It is not only the moving story and characters, but Haruki Murakami’s particular style of writing which takes root inside of you. Another author who has been on my reading list for a long time, the Japanese writer…

Pride and Prejudice and violent young lovers

As one of the most famous and beloved novels ever written, Pride and Prejudice needs little introduction. Instead, I’ll pose the question: what makes a book re-readable? Many people return to Pride and Prejudice , myself included, for a reliably entertaining and heartwarming story. There is a special delight which comes with reading Jane Austen,…

An ode to cookery writers

Some of my favourite writing comes from cookery books. While I am not a great chef by any means, I do enjoy eating and therefore find myself perusing the books below on a frequent occasion. Falling Cloudberries by Tessa Kiros, as the name might suggest, is a dreamy book. The recipes are all linked to…

A.S. Byatt’s Possession

The joy of being understood, being read by another person and equally understanding and loving that person in return, is explored in all its beauty and pain in A.S. Byatt’s novel, Possession. Possession has been on my reading list for some time and at last I have spent the past few weeks blissfully submerged in its…

The Silence of the Girls and The Iliad

Whose story is it? This is the question which preoccupies Pat Barker’s The Silence of the Girls, which puts a blinding spotlight on the secondary female characters of Homer’s Iliad. Here the abused women of the Trojan war struggle to tell their version of events in a male-centric landscape. The Silence of the Girls offers…

Revisiting Villette’s heroine

The heroine of Charlotte Brontë’s Villette, Lucy Snowe, is an iconic unreliable narrator, a true outsider who carefully observes and carefully divulges what she has seen and what she knows. Who are you, Miss Snowe?” she inquired, in a tone of such undisguised and unsophisticated curiosity, as made me laugh in my turn. 307 Villette is…

Normal People by Sally Rooney- Review

I admit, I wanted to read Normal People because I had seen it called a modern love story. Love is certainly laid bare here along with the nuances of power and perception- inward and outward. In Normal People we meet social outsider Marianne Sheridan and the popular Connell Waldron as teenagers in Carricklea; Connell’s mother…