‘History of Wolves’ by Emily Fridlund

I’ve been surprised at the reaction on social media since History of Wolves was shortlisted for the Booker prize. Of course, many people often feel dissatisfied and frustrated with the decisions made by the judging panels of literary awards, but it does strike me that this year is particularly contentious, with many singling-out History of… Continue reading ‘History of Wolves’ by Emily Fridlund

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‘This Must Be the Place’ by Maggie O’Farrell

I have long championed Maggie O'Farrell. I truly believe she is one of our most brilliant yet least celebrated living authors; I find it incomprehensible, for example, that she has never been long-listed (let alone shortlisted) for the Booker Prize. I am certain that, like many female authors, O’Farrell suffers as a result of misogyny. Her… Continue reading ‘This Must Be the Place’ by Maggie O’Farrell

‘The Roanoke Girls’ by Amy Engel

When Lane learns that her cousin Allegra is missing, she is forced to return to her family home at Roanoke. As a result, she reflects on the first and last time she came to Roanoke, one eventful summer, twenty years ago. The Roanoke Girls is a trashy novel. And when I say that, please bear… Continue reading ‘The Roanoke Girls’ by Amy Engel

‘The Town in Bloom’ by Dodie Smith

The Town in Bloom opens with a chase scene: when Molly, Lilian, and the ironically named Mouse spot their old but estranged friend Zelle, Mouse is determined to track her down. She races round London in her pursuit, eventually finding her in a ‘rather shabby’ tenement flat. The encounter prompts Mouse to reflect on the… Continue reading ‘The Town in Bloom’ by Dodie Smith

‘The Midwich Cuckoos’ by John Wyndham

Nothing ever happens in Midwich. The sleepy country village is the epitome of English ordinariness, so when residents Richard and Janet Gayford are prevented by police from returning after a weekend away, they are understandably eager to discover the cause of these highly unusual circumstances. It transpires that, Sleeping Beauty-like, the whole town has fallen… Continue reading ‘The Midwich Cuckoos’ by John Wyndham