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…

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,…

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…

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…