Book Reviews

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Book review – The Salt Path

The Salt Path has been a huge success for its author Raynor Wynne, and thus expectations were very high. Reactions to it were very mixed ranging from admiration for the bravery of the couple, setting out on their walk in […]

Book Review – Mr Loverman

Humour is a very individual thing – so some of us had found Mr Loverman very funny, whilst others were not so taken with it. I just loved the voice of Barrington … although I wasn’t so enamoured of his […]

Book review: The Schoolteacher of Saint-Michel

We all enjoyed Sarah Steele’s ‘The schoolteacher of Saint-Michel’ although some felt it was slow to get into. There had been some concerns that the story would be grim but it was very engaging. The book switches between the current […]

Book review: Crow Lake

Crow Lake by Mary Lawson received a mixed reception. Some loved it, and some found it lacking in plot. The story is set in a remote community in northern Ontario.  The four Morrison children left orphaned when their parents are […]

Book review: Becoming

Michelle Obama’s autobiography ‘Becoming’ was enjoyed by everyone in the group. She has an easy engaging style although some found it took concentration given the large number of people mentioned. The book is divided into 3 broad sections ‘Becoming me’ which […]

Book review: The Dispossessed

Written in the 1970s The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin is regarded as one of the classics of science fiction –a genre that most of us don’t normally read. The book is set on twin planets which have very different […]

Book review: The Foundling

We were all agreed that The Foundling was an easy read with some nice writing. Stacey Halls gives a vivid portrayal of Georgian London and from more than one perspective. Bess makes a living hawking shrimps whilst Alexandra, terrified of […]

Book review: Old Baggage

The general feeling was that Old Baggage by Lisa Hall was disappointing –  it was an easy read which was certainly appreciated, but a bit light and fluffy and touching on a lot of potentially interesting topics without going below […]

Book Review -Wyrd Sisters

This was our second read of a Terry Pratchett, and again feelings were mixed. Comedy is such an individual thing – some found it hilarious (the footnotes are something special – and you miss these on the kindle edition), others […]

Book review – Complete short stories of Ernest Hemingway

by Margaret on 22/12/2020 in Book Club Hemingway — short stories — acknowledged master of the genre — Nobel prize winner. Let’s just say that he didn’t float the boat for most of us. I guess we should have expected it and maybe the choice […]

Book review – The great alone

I struggled to get into ‘The Great Alone’ by Kirstin Hannah’ however the rest of the group had all enjoyed it – it was a story that moved with pace with much packed in. The comment was ‘What else can […]

Book review: The Clockmaker’s Daughter

Kate Morton’s book ‘The clockmaker’s daughter’ is something of a door stopper – and the considered view was that she could have cut down on a few of the strands of her story without losing the essential plot – there […]

Book review: Once upon a river

Once upon a river’ was a magical, fairy-tale read – Diane Setterfield’s storytelling is powerful and allows you to suspend disbelief.  Set in the nineteenth century on the upper Thames it starts at the winter solstice, and whilst the regulars at […]

Book review: Where the crawdads sing

‘Where the crawdads sing’ was an engaging read. Delia Owens has created a memorable character in Kya and the detail in her writing conjures the North Carolina marshes and their wildlife in exquisite detail. The story combines a murder investigation […]

Book review: The silver dark sea

‘The silver dark sea’ by Susan Fletcher is a tale set on the island of Parla, a remote community a two hour ferry trip from the mainland. Although it isn’t made explicit it has the feel of a Scottish island. […]

Book Review – The Stories

We hadn’t read any short stories previously so Jane Gardam’s collection ‘The Stories’ was a departure for us. Gardam’s writing is lovely – full of detail and gentle humour and great insight. The stories are very English although covering a […]

Book review – The Century Girls

The Century Girls by Tessa Dunlop was published to coincide with the anniversary of the first votes for women in this country. It interweaves the stories of six very different women mainly born during WW1 who have celebrated their 100th […]

Book review – The Baltimore Boys

We all enjoyed ‘The Baltimore Boys’ by Joel Dicker. It was originally written in French, but it still feels very rooted in its setting. It tells the tale of 3 boys – cousins Marcus and Hillel and Hillel’s adopted brother […]

Book Review: The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt is a very readable tale – despite the length (it definitely qualifies as a door stopper). It has been described as Dickensian – there is an immense amount of beautifully written detail capturing atmosphere and […]

Book review – Rebecca

Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier was a rare hit with everyone – classics aren’t classics for nothing! The unnamed narrator is the second wife of Maxim De Winter. Inexperienced and gauche, she is very much out of her depth and […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]