4 Stars Reviews

Book Review: Circe by Madeline Miller

When Circe is born to a the god Helios, there is something different about her; she lacks the inescapably allure of her nymph siblings and cousins, and is shunned by most of her family. Discovering that her power lies in the herbs and flowers of her homeland, she seeks solace in her witchcraft. But the gods are wary of her new skills, and when she transforms a fellow nymph into a seething monster, Zeus banishes Circe to a life of solitude on an island far from anyone else. Here Circe develops her powers and comes into contact with a host of characters, gods and mortals a like.

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3 Stars Reviews

Book Review: The Body Lies by Jo Baker

A young writer flees up north to a teaching position after a violent assault in the city leaves her desperate for escape. With her young son in tow and her husband struggling to make ends meet hundreds of miles away, she throws herself into her work; lesson plans, lectures, and her own writing. Her Creative Writing Masters students grapple with each others work with rising tempers, spurred on by the mysterious Nicholas; a brooding rich kid with talent, but talent that comes with a complicated past. When Nicholas begins to blur the lines between personal and professional, and fiction and reality, the narrator grasp on her own storyline begins to slip.

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3 Stars Reviews

Book Review: A View of the Empire at Sunset by Caryl Philips

Caryl Philips tells the story of Ella Gwendolyn Rees Williams; a girl born in the British colony of Dominica at the height of the Empire who grows up to become Jean Rhys, the mid-century Modernist writer who penned Wide Sargasso Sea. Philips’s novel tells the fictionalised story of Jean Rhys’s life prior to the success of the Jane Eyre prequel, building up to an anxiously anticipated return voyage to her birthplace.

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Reviews

Mini Reviews: prison, poetry, dragons and depression

As I mentioned in my recent monthly round-up, I haven’t really felt like writing full reviews for things recently, especially given how much I read last month. I don’t like to leave so many completely undocumented though, and I enjoyed doing the last set of mini-reviews, so here are four more short reviews for some of the books I’ve read recently.

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5 Stars Reviews

Book Review: Foe by Iain Reid

In the near future, Junior and Hen’s quiet lives on their remote farm are interrupted by the arrival of Terrance, an employee of OuterMore. Terrance informs the couple that Junior has the honour of being selected to travel to the Installation, a space station set high above the Earth, where he will live for two years. Though Junior expresses apprehension, it doesn’t seem like saying no is a possibility. Junior really doesn’t want to leave his wife, the love of his life, but Terrance assures him that Hen will be fine without him. After all, she won’t be alone.

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4 Stars Reviews

Book Review: White is for Witching by Helen Oyeyemi

Miranda and her twin brother, Eliot, live in an old house on the cliffs near Dover, which their father runs as a bed and breakfast. People come and go through the house, though some never leave at all. Miranda returns from an extended hospital stay, weak from her unusual diet of chalk, and chalk alone. Her father hopes to entice her with his culinary concoctions, but Mira’s pica disorder has deeper roots than can be imagined, and when she begins to hear the voices that belong to the house her father risks losing her completely.

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