Posted on 14th April 2016

Posted by joanna

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Holland Park School review Mobile Library

“A light-hearted novel addressing pressing societal issues – such as domestic violence, single-parent households and mental illness – Mobile Library deals with such matters a sensitivity that transforms the reader’s mind. Being written in the style of a fairy-tale with an unorthodox ending, Whitehouse beautifully represents the role that serendipity plays in one’s life. He…

Posted on 22nd October 2015

Posted by joanna

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Mother Island Review by Portslade Library Book Group

Mother Island provoked contrasting reactions in our book group and would be an excellent book for discussion. “Mother Island is a page-turner. I couldn’t put it down,” said one member, whilst others found the story simple and predictable. The author examines family relationships and the serious consequences when these break down.  Maggie abducts Samuel, the two year old son of her cousin Nula, for whom she has been…

Posted on 22nd October 2015

Posted by joanna

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Mobile Library Review by Peninsula Arts Reading Group

Mobile Library is a fable about fables and a book that oozes a love of children’s literature.  It is a tale of unlikely heroes and heroines, where the goodies are complex but the baddies are truly bad. The story explores many themes.  One is the nature of family and parenting, as it follows a group of characters as they steal and travel the country in a disguised mobile library….

Posted on 22nd October 2015

Posted by joanna

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The Offering Review by Close Encounters

The group agreed that “The Offering”, by Grace McCleen, was well-written and very readable. The vivid voice of the narrator carries the reader through the story: her description of the natural landscape of the island is sensuous throughout, while her ability to create a sense of foreboding, particularly around the house, garden and the office of Dr…

Posted on 22nd October 2015

Posted by joanna

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The Incarnations Review by The Jerwood Fiction Uncovered London Reading Group 2015

“This is a beautifully written book, very clever. I love the intertwining of present and past through these biography letters Wang receives mysteriously, allowing the reader to visit these fantastical worlds in well known Chinese historical eras. Absolutely loved it. Can’t wait to read Susan Barker’s next book.” MediahAhmed   “All of the incarnations end…

Posted on 22nd October 2015

Posted by joanna

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A Man Lies Dreaming Review by The Jerwood Fiction Uncovered London Reading Group 2015

A Man Lies Dreaming purports to be an interwoven narrative following ‘Wolf’ (quickly revealed to be Hitler) and Schlomer. Schlomer the choice of the second narrator ‘in another time and place’, is as ‘real’ a person as Hitler a Pulp fiction author but most readers would be unaware of this for he left no mark on popular culture his…

Posted on 7th May 2014

Posted by Sophie

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In The Light of Morning

Tim Pears’ novel In the Light of Morning sees the telling of a small part of the liberation of Europe by allied forced that occurred 70 years ago exactly. During this period, English troops supported Tito’s partisans in Yugoslavia as they attempted to fight Nazi occupation. The novel takes us to the deep…

Posted on 6th May 2014

Posted by Sophie

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Gone Again

With such a grim premise – the mysterious disappearance of Lauren, a young mother with a history of depression – Doug Johnstone’s Gone Again is an unsurprisingly tough, gritty urban thriller. The narrative focuses on Mark, Lauren’s despairing husband, and his attempts to get to the bottom of her vanishing whilst trying to…

Posted on 23rd April 2014

Posted by Sophie

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Bodies of Light

Each chapter of Sarah Moss’s excellent new novel is prefaced by the description of a painting, by either Alfred Moberley or his friend Aubrey West, giving title, date, provenance, and then a catalogue description. (Think of them as vaguely pre-Raphaelite; the novel is set in Manchester and London from the 1850s to the end of…

Posted on 15th April 2014

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The Tell-Tale Heart

The Tell Tale Heart, Jill Dawson’s eighth and most recent novel, is a wonderfully crafted, heart-felt homage to history, humanity and the sprawling landscape of the Fens, beckoning the reader to throw off the weight of contemporary inertia and embrace our connection to the past. At the beginning of the novel we meet Patrick; an…