‘The Wind off the Small Isles’ by Mary Stewart

PA Perdita is accompanying her employer, bestselling children’s novelist Cora Gresham, on a fact-finding trip to the Canary Islands. When driving through Lanzarote, they stumble across a house which Cora takes an instant shine to, and decides she wants to buy. Unfortunately, it transpires, the house is already owned by critically acclaimed playwright James Blair,… Continue reading ‘The Wind off the Small Isles’ by Mary Stewart

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‘Mistress of Mellyn’ by Victoria Holt

Martha Leigh travels to Cornwall to take up a post as a governess. She does not meet her employer, widower Connan TreMellyn, for some time, but she does meet his daughter, the extremely ‘difficult’ Alvean. When she learns of Alvean’s mother’s mysterious passing, Martha begins to understand the child’s temperament a little better. Things seem… Continue reading ‘Mistress of Mellyn’ by Victoria Holt

‘You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me’ by Sarra Manning

Neve Slater has been pining for handsome intellectual William since she first met him studying English literature at university. For the last three years, William has been living in LA, and during that time, Neve has been determinedly ‘improving’ herself, in the hope that, on his return, William will fall instantly into her arms, and… Continue reading ‘You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me’ by Sarra Manning

‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle’ by Shirley Jackson

Often referred to as Shirley Jackson’s finest work, We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a gothic and atmospheric novella. Mary Katherine ‘Merricat’ Blackwood lives with her elder sister Constance and decrepit Uncle Julian in their grand and isolated family home. Constance never leaves the house, and rarely receives visitors. On Merricat’s dreaded yet… Continue reading ‘We Have Always Lived in the Castle’ by Shirley Jackson

‘The Girls’ by Emma Cline

Although all names have been changed, The Girls , Emma Cline's highly acclaimed debut novel, is a retelling of the events surrounding Charles Manson and his ‘family’ in the summer of 1969. Evie Boyd is a bored teenage girl who just wants someone to want her. When she meets the beautiful and bedraggled Suzanne, one hot… Continue reading ‘The Girls’ by Emma Cline

‘The Humans’ by Matt Haig

This novel opens with a murder. Cambridge mathematician Professor Andrew Martin is killed, and his body taken over by an alien being, sent to destroy the professor and his family in order to prevent humans from getting too good at maths. The big question driving the novel is to do with the identity of the… Continue reading ‘The Humans’ by Matt Haig

‘The Vegetarian’ by Han Kang

When Yeong-hye gives up eating meat, her husband is baffled. Her decision constitutes only a miniature act of rebellion, but its consequences reverberate throughout their family. We never hear directly from Yeong-hye herself; rather, her story is told in three parts by her husband, her brother-in-law, and her sister. The novella explores themes of family… Continue reading ‘The Vegetarian’ by Han Kang