Cover image for Hearts and Bones by Niamh Mulvey

Hearts and Bones: Love Songs for Late Youth by Niamh Mulvey: Another fine Irish collection

I’m on a winning streak with Irish women authors this year. I’m sure to hit a dud eventually but Niamh Mulvey’s debut, Hearts and Bones, certainly isn’t it. This slim collection comprising ten stories comes with a subtitle which sets the tone, echoed by that brilliant jacket, as its narrators, mostly women, look back at …

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Cover image for Fight Night by Miriam Toews

Fight Night by Miriam Toews: ‘That’s patriarchy, Swiv, make a note’  

Given that it features a child narrator, I was a wee bit wary of Miriam Toews’ Fight Night despite having enjoyed her previous novels. It’s such a difficult trick to pull off, painfully clunky if mishandled. Toews’ new novel takes the form of a letter written by nine-year-old Swiv to her father who her grandmother …

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Cover image for Spies in Canaan by David Park

Spies in Canaan by David Park: ‘Stand up straight and true’

I’ve read and enjoyed David Park’s fiction before, admiring his quietly elegant style, and was keen to read Spies in Canaan, putting it aside for a little while after it popped through my letterbox. In the event, I read it against the backdrop of Russia’s preparations for invading Ukraine, horribly appropriate for this novel which …

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