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    It feels fitting to review Together on this day, 12 April 2021, when the world, or at least our little part of it, begins to open up again, easing our return we hope to a better, brighter, safer and healthier new world. We hope. And that’s what Luke Adam Hawker and Marianne Laidlaw’s … Continue readings

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    We shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, and yet most of us do, particularly in this age of having to buy online, without flicking through pages or sniffing paper. In the case of Song, Michelle Jana Chan’s acclaimed novel, published in paperback this month by Unbound, we’re pleased to say that it’s … Continue readings

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      Coming shortly after the week we’ve had, the months we’ve had, the years, a book essentially celebrating the achievements of a group of very fine women (and, yes, men) who essentially helped save the day for the Allies during the Second World War, is both timely and great. Kate Quinn’s The Rose … Continue readings

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      Acclaimed Scottish writer Ewan Morrison sets his latest book, How To Survive Everything, in a pandemic world. Sound familiar? Here though, we witness it through the eyes of young Haley, fifteen years old when she and brother Ben are first spirited away to a secret hideaway carefully prepared by their seemingly paranoid … Continue readings

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        Stop worrying about your heart and try and have a better brain.” —Elizabeth Bowen   If you’re a fan of Elizabeth Bowen, The Shadowy Third by Julia Parry is totally unmissable. Drawing on the letters that Bowen and Parry’s grandfather, Humphry House, exchanged from 1933 onwards, the book is a lyrical … Continue readings

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    My grandmother, a wise woman and some would say witch, used to say, treat the plants with the most beautiful flowers with respect and care, as they hide the best and worst of secrets. Of course, as a child, I ignored her – to my detriment, in fact, when I stupidly consumed a … Continue readings

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    From it’s beautiful cover to its beautiful writing, The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot is a joy to read. The one hundred years referenced in the title are the collective ages of 17-year-old Lenni and 83-year-old Margot, the protagonists of writer Marianne Cronin’s debut novel. Margot has lived a full and … Continue readings

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      The premise of Helen Fisher’s novel, Space Hopper, is wonderful. What would you do if you could go back in time and be with a loved one? That’s the dilemma of thirty-something, happily married Faye, who still grieves for the mother she lost at a very young age, more so as her … Continue readings

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      Dr Cassandra Coburn is an impressive character. A scientist, editor and now author of her first book, Enough: How Your Food Choices Will Save the Planet, she has a doctorate in genetics and is associated with The Lancet; all great credentials. The danger though that sometimes occurs when academics write books on … Continue readings

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    Eating was as close to heaven as my mother ever came … And almost as heavenly as the eating was the making – how she gloried in it. Every last body on this earth has a particular notion of paradise, and this was hers, standing in the murderously hot back kitchen of her … Continue readings

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    We’re huge Michael Connelly fans’ and came to him via The Concrete Blonde, oh so many years ago, in Murder One. It’s thus with complete delight we read his new book, The Law of Innocence, the latest outing for wildly popular protagonist Mickey Haller. From the first pages we’re thrown into the action, … Continue readings

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  When I was asked if I wanted to review The Archers: Ambridge at War, penned by novelist Catherine Miller, it was a no-brainer. Like so many, growing up, Sunday mornings were given over to listening to The Archers’ omnibus on Radio 4. As soon as the iconic music came on, everyone would fall silent: … Continue readings

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  We know and very much admire Anita Nair’s literary fiction and yet, despite being huge crime-fiction lovers, we hadn’t read any of her writing in the genre. Until now. And it’s astounding. Beautifully realised, authentic, truly great crime. Just pleasing in every way. A Cut-Like Wound introduces fallen hero Borei Gowda, a police inspector … Continue readings

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    It’s wonderful when writers, particularly women writers, get their moment in the sun again – and it’s especially so when the writer is someone as talented as Kamala Markandaya. In her day, she was a well-respected, best-selling author, her name known globally, and yet, despite this, for some twenty years, her novels were … Continue readings

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  Happy national poetry day 2020. How wonderful that we have a day to celebrate a medium that we all love in one shape or form. I know many of you reading this will have penned a poem at some time, or written a lyric. The former is certainly how I first started writing – … Continue readings

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