Book review: Love Stories for Hectic People

I have written past posts about Australian-author-transplanted-to-Italy Catherine McNamara’s fiction, whether it be her debut novel, her short story collection, Pelt or her Rome reading from her latest short story collection, The Cartography of Others. So I was thrilled when I learned that she’d branched out into flash fiction, and that her latest collection of…

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Book review: The Chalet

The Chalet

Full disclaimer : COVID has left me brutally ski-deprived. I spent this past January driving through mountains positively mocking me with their pistes fluffy with beautiful, virginal snow, yet with not one lone skier on them due to COVID restrictions. COVID killed the season last year, and it’s looking as if this year won’t be…

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Book review: The Heatwave

Heat Wave book cover

I read The Girl in the Photograph, an earlier novel by this author, and was underwhelmed, but I was intrigued by the premise of this novel and its setting. I’m glad to have picked it up, and found it a compelling read. This novel is largely set in southern France’s Provence region, in a small,…

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Book review : The Piano Teacher

The Piano Taecher book cover

This is the second novel by Janice Y.K. Lee that I’ve read. A few years ago, I enjoyed her excellent The Expatriates, so I was curious to read this novel set in Hong Kong in the lead-up to World War II and the time of the Japanese occupation. Lee is from Hong Kong and covered…

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Book review: Midnight Blue

Midnight Blue book cover

I bought this book at an airport bookstore in Amsterdam’s Schipol heading back home from a long flight. It then sat for two years on my bookshelf before I remembered about it and picked it up. Am I glad I did! Written by Dutch novelist Simone van der Vlugt, this novel was translated to English…

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Book review: The Nanny

The Nanny cover

I enjoyed this novel told through multiple narrators, with its Gothic elements and an engaging backstory that slowly reveals itself as the novel progresses. Laura Holt fled England, her privileged life and her titled parents as soon as she could, eventually settling half a world away in California. But tragedy and financial woes force her…

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Book review: Half a World Away

Half A World Away book cover

Loved, loved, loved this book. So pleased it was my first novel of 2021, and that I discovered author Mike Gayle through this highly enjoyable tale. The cover blurb says it best : Same city. Different streets. Same mother. Different lives. The story of Kerry Hayes and Noah Martineau is the story of fate, the…

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Book review: The Last Collection

Last Collection cover

I picked up this novel last summer because I was curious about one of the historical figures. This is the tale of two rival fashion designers that unfolds in pre- and post-World War II Paris. One of the designers was quite well known to me (and perhaps everyone): Coco Chanel. But the focus of the…

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Book review: Miss Iceland

Miss Iceland cover

I picked this novel up in a bookstore this past summer. I liked the cover and the book blurb, and I liked that it was translated from Icelandic. I’m always eager to discover good translated literature. Luckily, this was a great discovery. Miss Iceland is the sixth novel by Icelandic novelist Audur Ava Ólafsdóttir. Miss…

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Book review: Bear Town

Set in a small hamlet in Sweden, surrounded by wild forest land, Bear Town is a fast, enjoyable read examining various facets of this fading town and the odd assortment of residents who populate it. Bear Town has seen better days. Once a reasonably prosperous small town, Bear Town boasted factories and blue collar jobs…

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