Fig Tree

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Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller: Knowing the worst or hoping for the best?

Back in 2015, Claire Fuller’s much acclaimed Our Endless Numbered Days made it on to my books of the year list. I have a track record of disappointment with second novels, either expecting too much on my part or perhaps just one excellent novel in them on the author’s. Nothing wrong with that, of course: …

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The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang: A smart, funny road trip of a novel

There’s been a bit of pre-publication brouhaha for Jade Chang’s debut, much more subdued that the constant shouting which can be so off-putting but just enough to put it on my radar. Set in 2008 with the financial world about to crash with the loudest of bangs, it’s about a family whose cosmetics mogul father …

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Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller: The incredible made credible

Claire Fuller’s flash fiction is one of my regular treats. Most weeks, usually on Wednesdays or Thursdays, she posts a hundred words inspired by a photograph. Sometimes funny, sometimes thought-provoking, they’re always inventive. She has a knack of making you look at the world in a slightly different way. Given all that, it’s no surprise …

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Ammonites and Leaping Fish by Penelope Lively: Ageing with grace and eloquence

Being of a certain age, I have several over-80s in my life and have lost several more dear to me in recent years. Some have aged well – I have a lovely memory of my 90-year-old aunt executing high kicks in her kitchen a few months before she died, delighted when H couldn’t match her …

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