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  The Exbury Egg is a thing of beauty and, after a somewhat epic journey along Britain’s highways, byways and waterways, it has come to rest in the courtyard outside the Jerwood Gallery. Artist Stephen Turner, whose work often challenges the relationship between natural and human-constructed environments, says, ‘an egg is crucial as a way … Continue readings

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  IN THE LIGHT OF SURREALISM #2 and INVERSE REFLECTION, the two exhibitions opening at the Arts Forum this week, draw, consciously or unconsciously, on tenets of surrealism. One of the most influential cultural movements of the twentieth century, surrealism continues to inspire artists today. But what does it mean? ‘I think the word is … Continue readings

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  THE SUMMER OF SERENDIPITY, best-selling novelist Ali McNamara’s latest offering, is set in the West Coast of Ireland, in the beautiful fictional town of Ballykiltara, drawn from real-life Killarney. It’s to here that heroine Ren (Serendipity) Parker and her fun-loving sidekick, Kiki, travel to find the perfect property for their latest client. It’s an … Continue readings

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  SUMMER’S LEASE, CARRIE ELKS’ LATEST BOOK, opens with heroine Ceska Shakespeare dealing with a life that’s in veritable freefall. Nothing is going right. Enter Hugh, her fairy godfather – and one minute Ceska’s scraping pennies together in the less than salubrious part of London in which she lives, the next she’s house-sitting Villa Palladino, … Continue readings

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  SET IN THE WILDS OF WESTERN MONTANA, COME SUNDOWN, like many of the best novels by Nora Roberts, focuses on family – blood or otherwise – spiced up with just enough murder, madness and, of course, romance to sustain our interest. At the heart of the story lies the relationship between protagonists Bodine Longbow, … Continue readings

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  ‘Pho is so elemental to Vietnamese culture that people talk about it in terms of romantic relationships. Rice is the dutiful wife that you can rely on … Pho is the flirty mistress that you slip away to visit.’   … SO BEGINS ANDREA NGUYEN’S BRILLIANT INTRODUCTION TO ALL THINGS PHO. Now, I’m a … Continue readings

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   ‘If my future wasn’t in the balance, if I wasn’t scared to hell, I’d say I’ve enjoyed this trial.’ Benson nodded, contradicting Tess’s shake of the head. ‘Honestly. If I’d known what being a barrister involved, if I’d realised what happens in a courtroom, this is what I’d like to have done with my … Continue readings

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  Each picture told a story; mysterious often to my undeveloped understanding and imperfect feelings, yet ever profoundly interesting.” – Jane Eyre   WHAT IS IT ABOUT JANE EYRE? What makes the book and, indeed, Jane herself so beloved by so many people? Certainly, the themes of love (bordering almost on obsession), madness, abuse and … Continue readings

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  It’s a pressure cooker round here, mate. Little things become big things faster than you expect. You’d know that though. –Scott Whitlam to Aaron Falk, The Dry   JANE HARPER’S STYLISH DEBUT, THE DRY, is one of the best crime novels we’ve read in a very long time. Set in Kiewarra, a small town … Continue readings

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  WHAT IS IT ABOUT GILMORE GIRLS THAT SO CAPTURES OUR IMAGINATION? Why do we love it so much? Is it the location, the magical town of Stars Hollow? The weird and wonderful characters, such as Luke and Lane, who inhabit it? The family and friendship dramas that are so very, very familiar? The phenomenal … Continue readings

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  IT’S ALWAYS A PLEASURE TO COME ACROSS AN AUTHOR who we’ve never read before, for no other reason than life’s too short and there are too many good books out there waiting to be devoured. It’s particularly so, if that author fits into the mystery/crime genre, one of our not-at-all guilty and rather favourite … Continue readings

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  ‘I DON’T WANT TO PRODUCE WORK that is a pleasant distraction, then you move on to something else. I would actually like it to … stop their day. To make it an encounter,’ comments artist Marcus Harvey. And, without a doubt, that’s what his art has done since Myra (1995), his portrait of Myra … Continue readings

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