Next Tuesday is #Womensfictionday!

If you are a reader or writer of Women’s Fiction, I think you will join me in my excitement for #Womensfictionday next week – 8 June, to be precise. This is a day led by the Women’s Fiction Writers Association (WFWA), but all interested readers and writers are asked to promote the day and maybe…

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Book Review: Grown Ups

Irish author Marian Keyes always delivers interesting characters, and her latest novel, Grown Ups, doesn’t disappoint. The novel unfolds in Dublin, and on various holiday locales around Ireland – and one further afield in Tuscany, Italy. We’re introduced rather quickly to a large cast of characters. The Casey brothers – Johnny, Ed and Liam –…

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On Women’s Day, celebrating women writers

Happy International Women’s Day! To celebrate, I thought I would play homage to some of my favorite female authors. Of course, there are my perennial favorites – Jane Austen, the Bronte sisters and Edith Wharton. But I decided to celebrate some of my favorite contemporary authors, by including some of the book reviews I’ve written…

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Book review: The Burning Girl

This is the third Claire Messud novel I’ve read. I enjoyed her bestselling novel The Emperor’s Children, and her debut novel When the World Was Steady. The Burning Girl is her latest work. This novel set in small-town Massachusetts follows the lives and friendship of Julia Robinson and Cassie Burns. Julia and Cassie have grown…

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Shivers on the slopes: Book reviews

I spent last week skiing with my sons. I always enjoy skiing, but one of the activities I enjoy most after an exhausting day of physical activity is curling up in a warm space with a steaming cup of tea and reading a good novel. When we ski, my kids and I ski from the…

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Alice Munro on small town stories

“The writers of the American South were the first writers who really moved me because they showed me that you could write about small towns, rural people, and that kind of life I knew very well.” Alice Munro I like this quote from short story writer Alice Munro. And if anyone knows how to tell…

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Book review: Flawed

I picked up this novel, by Irish author Cecilia Ahern, by chance. I liked the premise, and I was struggling through a novel that infuriated me more than it interested me, so I decided to take a break from it with another, much different novel. It’s good I didn’t notice that the novel was the…

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Farewell to novelist Shirley Hazzard

Earlier this month, Australian author (later turned American citizen) Shirley Hazzard (1931 – 2016) died at the age of 85. Hazzard was probably best known for her novel, The Transit of Venus, which won the National Book Critics circle Award in 1980. But for me, the book I most closely associate with Hazzard is the…

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