September 27, 2021

BOOK REVIEW: The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O’Farrell

In the middle of tending to the everyday business at her vintage clothing shop and sidestepping her married boyfriend’s attempts at commitment, Iris Lockhart receives a stunning phone call: Her great-aunt Esme [...]
September 3, 2021

BOOK REVIEW: The Praise Singer by Mary Renault

In the story of the great lyric poet Simonides, Mary Renault brings alive a time in Greece when tyrants kept an unsteady rule and poetry, music, and royal patronage combined to produce a flowering of the arts [...]
August 27, 2021

The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix

In a slightly alternate London in 1983, Susan Arkshaw is looking for her father, a man she has never met. Crime boss Frank Thringley might be able to help her, but Susan doesn’t get time to ask Frank any questions before he is turned to dust [...]
August 25, 2021

BOOK REVIEW: The Last Days of the Romanov Dancers by Kerri Turner

Valentina Yershova's position in the Romanov's Imperial Russian Ballet is the only thing that keeps her from the clutches of poverty. With implacable determination, she has clawed her way through the ranks to soloist, utilising not only her talent [...]
August 13, 2021

BOOK REVIEW: The Bull from the Sea by Mary Renault

In this sequel to The King Must Die Theseus defies the Gods’ and claims the throne of Athens a move that culminates in the terrible, fateful destruction of the house of Minos -- the Minotaur.
June 21, 2021

VINTAGE BOOK REVIEW: Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829. Set against Iceland's stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal [...]
June 4, 2021

VINTAGE BOOK REVIEW: Mrs Poe by Lynn Cullen

A vivid and compelling novel about a woman who becomes entangled in an affair with Edgar Allan Poe—at the same time she becomes the unwilling confidante of his much-younger wife. It is 1845, and Frances Osgood is desperately trying to make a living as [...]
March 20, 2021

BOOK REVIEW: Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

Drawing on Maggie O'Farrell's long-term fascination with the little-known story behind Shakespeare's most enigmatic play, HAMNET is a luminous portrait of a marriage, at its heart the loss of a beloved child.
February 22, 2021

BOOK REVIEW: Code Name Helene by Ariel Lawhon

This book is based on the life of Nancy Wake, an Australian expat who worked as a reporter for Hearst in Paris just before WWII and later as a spy for the British. Lawhon throws readers into the middle of the action, as Nancy, under the alias Hélène [...]
February 19, 2021

BOOK REVIEW: A Single Thread by Tracy Chevalier

Tracy Chevalier is one of my favourite writers. I find we have a lot of common interests –women’s stories, women’s art, women’s struggle. She’s one of the few authors whose books I will buy and read as a matter of course, regardless of where and when her books are set [...]
February 17, 2021

BOOK REVIEW: Ransom by David Malouf

A reimagination of one of the most famous stories in all of literature-Achilles's slaughter and desecration of Hector, and Priam's attempt to ransom his son's body in Homer's "The Iliad"-Ransom is the first novel in more than a decade from David Malouf [...]
February 15, 2021

BOOK REVIEW:The Bird in the Bamboo Cage by Hazel Gaynor

China, 1941. Elspeth Kent has fled an unhappy life in England for a teaching post at a missionary school in northern China. But when Japan declares war on the Allies and occupies the school, security and home comforts are replaced by privation, uncertainty and fear.

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