‘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

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‘Girl Meets Boy’ by Ali Smith

‘Let me tell you about when I was a girl, my grandfather says’. Girls meets Boy had me hooked from the first line. An imaginative re-version of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, it follows two sisters as they grapple with life, love, and finding a place to exist in the modern world. This book is joyful, funny, poetic,… Continue reading ‘Girl Meets Boy’ by Ali Smith

‘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

‘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

‘I Capture the Castle’ by Dodie Smith

Previously successful novelist Mortmain suffers from seemingly incurable writer’s block whilst his family battle impending bankruptcy in their secluded country home (the eponymous castle). Mortmain himself is largely absent throughout the novel, having holed himself up in his quarters with an apparent disregard for his family’s economic situation. Meanwhile, his wife Topaz and daughters Rose… Continue reading ‘I Capture the Castle’ by Dodie Smith