Fiction Reviews

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Cover image for The Great Mistake by Joanathan Lee

The Great Mistake by Jonathan Lee: ‘The Man Who Gets Things Done’

As regular readers may have noticed, a New York City setting is catnip for me which made Jonathan Lee’s The Great Mistake well nigh irresistible. I also have fond memories of reading his book, Joy, which featured in one of my earliest posts when I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted this blog to be. …

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Cover image for Grown Ups by Marie Aubert

Grown Ups by Marie Aubert (transl. Rosie Hedger): Life begins at forty

Families and their dynamics offer such fertile ground for fiction. Most of us have a family in one form or another, and many of us are mystified by the differences between them, not least when we’re introduced to them by our partners. Marie Aubert’s darkly funny Grown Ups explores that most febrile of family dynamics, …

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Cover image dor The Other Black Girl by Zaliya Dalila Harris

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris: Stepford publishers

Huge amounts of brouhaha surrounding Zakiya Dalila Harris’ debut, stretching back many months as publishers tweeted their joy at getting their hands on a copy of The Other Black Girl. I’ll admit to suffering proof envy with this one, resorting to NetGalley when it turned out there were none left. Set in a prestigious New …

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Cover image for We Play Ourselves by Jen Silverman

We Play Ourselves by Jen Silverman: ‘There are so many lives ahead of us all’

I’d not come across Jen Silverman’s name before We Play Ourselves arrived. She’s a playwright which left me wondering how much of herself was in this novel about a woman in her thirties, suddenly in the glare of publicity after a decade of putting on plays in obscure New York venues, whose star plummets as …

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Cover image for You Have to Make Your Own Fun Around Here by Frances Macken

Five Rural Novels I’ve Read

I was brought up in the countryside but I’m much more comfortable living in an urban environment, a small city rather than a metropolis where cinema, galleries and music venues are all within walking distance, not to mention the odd bookshop or two. I love the beauty of landscape plus the odd glimpse of wildlife …

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Cover image for The Words of every Song by Liz Moore

The Words of Every Song by Liz Moore: Living the dream, or perhaps not

Way back in 2012, I read Liz Moore’s second novel, Heft, which I remember enjoying although, so many books having passed under the bridge since then, not much else. When I spotted The Words of Every Song in the schedules I hadn’t realised it was her debut, attracted by its New York music scene setting. …

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Cover image for I Couldn't Love You More by Esther Freud

I Couldn’t Love You More by Esther Freud: Love, loss and motherhood

I remember reading Hideous Kinky shortly after it was published, rewatching the film after getting back from Morocco, hoping to relive our trip, very different though it was from the one in Esther Freud’s novel which drew on her own childhood experiences. I’d also enjoyed her last novel, Mr Mac and Me, reviewed back in …

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Cover image for Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri

Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri (transl. by the author): ’Solitude: it’s become my trade’

Four years ago, I was sent a book by Jhumpa Lahiri which had intrigued me when I saw it listed as a translated work. In Other Words is her account of a passion for the Italian language so intense she uprooted her family from the US so that she could immerse herself in it. The …

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