Fiction Reviews

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Cover image for Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson

Damnation Spring by Ash Davidson: Profit trumps all

It was Nickolas Butler’s ringing endorsement that sold Ash Davidson’s Damnation Spring to me. The cover suggested it might have the same gorgeous descriptions of the American landscape I’d loved in his Cowboy Lovesongs and Godspeed. Spanning a single year from 1977-78, Davidson’s tale of environmental despoilation is set in a small Californian community where …

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Cover image for Mrs Marsh by Virginia Feito

Mrs March by Virginia Feito: A deliciously dark debut

Isn’t that jacket splendid? Strikingly bright with just a hint of something nasty as a cockroach makes its way towards the elegantly attired woman’s manicured hands. Virginia Feito’s Mrs March lives up to that promise, a novel as smartly delivered as its jacket’s design. Married to a successful novelist, Mrs March is beginning to worry …

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Cover image for The Painter's Friend by Howard Cunnell

The Painter’s Friend by Howard Cunnell: ‘The Source of Art is the Life of a People’

As regular readers will know, I can’t resist a novel with an art theme which is why I put up my hand for a copy of Howard Cunnell’s The Painter’s Friend. That and the memory of the praise heaped upon his memoir, Fathers and Sons, which explored his own relationship with his father as his …

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Cover image for The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller

The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller: ‘This is the end of a long story’

I’m incapable of resisting a novel with a Cape Cod summer setting. Something about families thrust together in unaccustomed closeness, brought face to face with their pasts, usually with a few dark secrets thrown in, plus lovely descriptions of the New England coast. There’s usually one every year and this year’s is Miranda Cowley Heller’s …

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