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Author Archive | margaret

Book Review – The noise of time

There were very mixed reactions to ‘The noise of time’ by Julian Barnes. The book is about Shostakovich but the structure isn’t a straightforward narrative. It takes 3 episodes in his life when brushes with ‘Power’ brought crisis and reflection for him. The story is told through his recollections and feelings and over the course […]

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Book Review – Tangerine

Tangerine is the debut novel of Christine Mangan. The story unfolds from the viewpoints of Alice and Lucy both of whom prove to be unreliable narrators but for very different reasons. They had developed a deep friendship at university but an incident resulted in a separation. The story begins with Alice living in Tangiers with […]

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Book Review – Transcription

Very mixed views on ‘Transcription’ – some really enjoyed it, others found it slow and dull – ‘Le Carre Lite’ seemed to be the best description. Set largely between two time periods we are introduced to Juliet. In 1940 she found herself working for the secret service transcribing recordings of meetings between a spy and […]

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Book Review – Wise children

Wise children by Angela Carter is largely told as a long set reminiscences by Dora Chance – looking back over a career in music hall with her twin sister Nora (one of many sets of twins) and tempestuous family relationships. They are the illegitimate daughters of Melchior Hazard, a leading Shakespearian actor who refuses to […]

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The Allegations

‘The Allegations’ engendered mixed feelings – it was funny, and the writing was good, and certainly for the first half it was a good read  but then it started to drag. It contrasts the fortunes of two men – friends and academics – who are both faced with allegations. Tom is accused of bullying and […]

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Book Review: – The Last of Us

I think all of us felt this was not a book we would have chosen to read (it was a little grim in places!), but we all ‘enjoyed’ it. ‘The Last of Us’ is set in the Western Isles in a dystopian future where the majority of the population has been wiped out by an […]

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Book Review: – Shadows in heaven

Apologies to fans of Nadine Dorries but we were united in feeling that ‘Shadows in heaven’ had not left us with an inclination to read more of her books. It was an easy read (although the huge cast of characters did lead to some confusion initially), however the characters lacked depth and there was an […]

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Book Review: – The history of bees

The history of bees is an interesting and ambitious book that generated a lot of discussion ranging from family relationships and the expectations parents put on their children to the current decline of the bee population and the environmental challenge the world is facing – climate change and plastic pollution. Back to the book itself […]

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Book Review: – The Dry

  Jane Harper’s debut novel was enjoyed by all – generally regarded as a real page turner – a quick read. Luke Hadler, his wife and child are found brutally murdered, and the assumption in the town is murder/suicide. Aaron Falk, a policeman has returned to the town he was driven from many years previously […]

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Book Review: – A gentleman in Moscow

Towling’s tale of an aristocrat, Count Alexander Rostov, sentenced to indefinite house arrest in the Metropol Hotel in Moscow after the Revolution was generally enjoyed. It is a beautifully written  charming , whimsical fairytale of a story but some of us found the lack of realism given the backdrop of  Russia under Stalin and Khrushchev […]

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Book review: This is going to hurt

Whilst some found Adam Kay’s brand of humour ‘laugh out loud’ it was not for all – one or two felt uncomfortable with some of the patient stories in ‘This is going to hurt’ – perhaps some shouldn’t have been shared. However we recognised that such ‘gallows’ humour helps folk to cope with the emotional […]

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Book Review: – A Christmas Carol

A Christmas Carol produced a lively and surprising amount of discussion given how well known the story is. We have all been exposed to film adaptations and these had influenced our images of the tale but there were still some elements that came as a surprise – Scrooge visiting coal miners and fishermen for example. […]

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