Sticky post

Review: Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

“The river lapped and the boat rose and fell, and a far-off little voice called without cease for its parents from the depths of the goblin world.”

Setterfield’s tale begins at The Swan, a pub at Radcot, the hub of storytelling on the Thames. The regular drinkers are disturbed by the sudden entrance of an enormous man, bleeding and injured from the mouth, cradling a puppet in his arms. After the man collapses dramatically and the puppet is retrieved from his arms, the locals discover to their horror that he had been holding the drowned body of a little girl. Mysteriously, the girl soon revives, yet seems incapable of speaking. The novel then follows the story of three different characters, all laying a claim to this girl. One is a farmer searching for the missing child of his son, a grandchild whom he only recently discovered existed. Another is a landowner whose wife is sinking into madness after the disappearance of their daughter. The last, a confused middle-aged woman haunted by disturbing nightmares of her drowned younger sister from decades before, is convinced that her sibling has returned. Continue reading Review: Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield

Review: Find Me by André Aciman

Find Me is not your normal sequel. It does not carry on a single narrative thread, started in Call Me By Your Name, instead it ties together multiple threads from the same fabric that Call Me By Your Name is a part of. (I am assuming here that you have read Call Me By Your Name, or at least seen the film, for without this you will not understand Find Me, nor this review of it.) For the first hundred pages, Elio is scarcely mentioned, Oliver not at all; yet without a doubt, Find Me is heavily predicated on the events of Call Me By Your Name. As such, one waiting to know what happened in the immediate aftermath of the previous book will be sorely disappointed, however if they give the novel the time it needs, they will come to understand the importance of time, and what has happened as time progressed for Elio, Oliver, and Elio’s father Samuel. Continue reading Review: Find Me by André Aciman

Review: “The Secret Commonwealth” by Philip Pullman

In The Secret Commonwealth, everything has gone topsy turvy. There is constant upheaval, both in the plot and in Pullman’s world which we thought we knew. Whilst La Belle Sauvagereally ought to have been reduced to a chapter in this book, The Secret Commonwealth is a definite return to Lyra’s world. Continue reading Review: “The Secret Commonwealth” by Philip Pullman

In My Good Books: ‘Conversations With Friends’ by Sally Rooney

Sally Rooney’s first novel Conversations with Friends encapsulates the depths, challenges and complications of friendship in the 21st century. Following the story of Frances and Bobbi, two students in Ireland, Conversations with Friends is a gripping tale of love, lust and heartbreak as each character navigates the complexities of relationships. Rooney portrays a toxic, yet somehow unbreakable, friendship and hence explores the concepts of passivity … Continue reading In My Good Books: ‘Conversations With Friends’ by Sally Rooney

Review: ‘The Binding’ by Bridget Collins

“Imagine you could erase your grief. Imagine you could forget your pain. Imagine you could hide a secret. Forever.”  The tagline for The Binding is just as full of mystery and intrigue as the book itself. The story of how a young man named Emmett Farmer is torn away from his family, and the life he knows working the fields, to be apprenticed to a book … Continue reading Review: ‘The Binding’ by Bridget Collins

In My Good Books: ‘The Muse’ by Jessie Burton

‘The Muse’ is a novel packed with mystery, thwarted love and artistry. Following her captivating novel ‘The Miniaturist’, Jessie Burton’s next novel depicts an equally in-depth fictionalisation of contemporary cultural anxieties. Thus while ‘The Miniaturist’ explores the historic damning of sodomy, ‘The Muse’ depicts racial prejudice in the 1960s, as well as the social tension in the years leading to the second world war. However, … Continue reading In My Good Books: ‘The Muse’ by Jessie Burton

In My Good Books: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton

Last summer I was dragged to The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, in which the majority of the ancient art immensely bored me. However, this visit actually led me to one of the most unique and eerie books I have read. The Rijksmuseum is home to the intricate dolls’ house of Petronella Oortman, in which every ornament and character is furnished with elaborate detail. This inexplicably captivating … Continue reading In My Good Books: The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton