Posted on 23rd June 2014

Posted by Sophie

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Winter

I chose this to review purely by the appeal of the title, knowing nothing of the novel or author. It proved an excellent choice: a novel about the ageing Thomas Hardy and his much-younger but fast-ageing second wife Florence, and based on an incident from true life, which I remembered coming across in Claire Tomalin’s…

Posted on 5th September 2012

Posted by Sophie

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The Art of Losing

The Art of Losing is a gripping debut from Rebecca Connell, a startling novel about betrayal, grief, and the inability to let go in all its psychological and claustrophobic complexity. Haunted by the childhood loss of her mother, Lydia, twenty-three-year old Louise sets out to find the man she believes was responsible for her death.  Nicholas…

Posted on 1st June 2012

Posted by Sophie

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My Former Heart

My Former Heart is Cressida Connolly’s first foray into full-length fiction, though her steady narrative and poised voice betray nothing of her newness to the form. Alluringly lyrical, the novel flits between three generations of women, portraying in exquisite detail the symphony of exultations and heartbreaks that accompanies each character’s transition into womanhood. Connolly takes…

Posted on 22nd May 2012

Posted by Sophie

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My Former Heart

‘A family saga spanning the second half of the twentieth century, this gentle story of women’s lives in Egypt, Lebanon and the London Blitz is at once tender, comic and wise. Following on from the success of her short stories, My Former Heart marks out Connolly as a novelist to watch.’ Katy Guest, Literary Editor,…

Posted on 1st June 2011

Posted by Sophie

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Witch Light

Susan Fletcher’s story of Corrag, a 17th-century Scottish woman accused of being a witch and waiting to be burnt at the stake for her alleged crimes, stayed with me in a number of ways. A day after finishing Witch Light, I discovered a heavy leather-bound book (‘found’ by my boss) entitled A History of Scottish…