Category Archives: Fiction

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | LOST FOR WORDS – STEPHANIE BUTLAND

  I picked this book up because I’d had trouble sticking with anything for a little while after a few books that failed to really impress me, and I wanted something light. I looked at the cover, saw it was about a bookstore (in England) and thought, great, that’ll do. I didn’t expect much. I was most definitely surprised. First… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | RESTLESS – WILLIAM BOYD

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  I picked this book up because it’s a spy thriller with a twist – it’s the story of Ruth, a young woman discovering that her mother spent years working as a spy for the British government during the early years of WWII. Cool premise, right? It also won the Costa Novel Award in 2006, so, you know, bonus. This… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | THE POWER – NAOMI ALDERMAN

  This is one of the books I’ve heard most about in the past six months, since it was nominated for (and later won, much to the surprise of many, myself included) the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction. This book is part dystopian fantasy, part sociological speculation. It brings to life a theoretical question many who study gender have asked… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | THE TROUBLE WITH GOATS AND SHEEP – JOANNA CANNON

  Set against the backdrop of Britain’s 1976 heatwave, this is the story of two young girls who, during a slow-paced summer, decide to look into the sudden disappearance of their neighbour, Mrs. Creasy. But this isn’t just the story of what happened to Mrs. Creasy. In following the amateur detectives, we learn about the dynamics of their friendship and… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | REBECCA – DAPHNE DU MAURIER

  I remember a battered copy of this book, mass market paperback, yellowed and curling pages, ugly cover, somehow making its way onto my bookshelves when I was a teenager. I can’t remember if I read the first few pages and decided it wasn’t my thing, or if I was put off by the cover. But whatever the reason, I… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | LAST NIGHT IN MONTREAL – EMILY ST. JOHN MANDEL

  Last Night In Montreal is Emily St. John Mandel’s debut novel, but you’d never know it. From pretty much the first page, it had me completely under its spell. I went into this not really knowing what it was about. Just a vague idea that it would be your basic relationship story, but a bit better because, you know,… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | THE LIE OF THE LAND – AMANDA CRAIG

  This is only the second Amanda Craig book I’ve read (the other being Hearts and Minds, which was one of my favourite books of 2014) but I already feel like I can count her among my all-time favourite authors. The Lie of the Land is, at its center, about the dissolution of a marriage in modern times. Why the… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | THE ELEGANCE OF THE HEDGEHOG – MURIEL BARBERY

  Do you ever finish reading a book, leave it for a while, and still have no idea what you thought of it? That’s this book for me. I’ve been letting it “settle” for over a month now, and I’m no closer to a succinct, concise review than I was when I closed the cover. So if you decide to… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | AUTUMN – ALI SMITH

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  I’ve been meaning to read Ali Smith for ages. I have her previous novel, How To Be Both, but was put off by the historic section and never picked it up. I then tried reading some of her short stories, and discovered that I very much enjoyed them – which is why I decided to finally take a foray… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | AMERICANAH – CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE

  I’m so glad I finally got around to reading this book, after years of guiltily skimming past its spine on my bookshelf. It’s the first novel I’ve read by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, though I’ve read and loved her two short non-fiction works, We Should All Be Feminists (which you must read if you haven’t already) and Dear Ijeawele, Or A… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | THE PARTICULAR SADNESS OF LEMON CAKE – AIMEE BENDER

  The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake is the story of a young girl, Rose Edelstein, who discovers one day that she can taste more in her food than its flavours. She can taste her mother’s restlessness and emptiness, she can taste if the cook was in a rush, or if he was angry. Over time, her special sense develops… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | THE HATE U GIVE – ANGIE THOMAS

  This is the story of Starr, a sixteen-year-old from south central L.A. – not the part of L.A. where white people live in big houses, but the part they stay well clear of. But Starr doesn’t quite fit in. She and her brother go to a private school 45 minutes drive from home, where most of the other students… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | THE BOOKSHOP – PENELOPE FITZGERALD

  This book appealed to me because A) it’s short and B) it’s about a bookshop, and anything set in a bookshop has my interest. And it’s really because of point A that I actually made it through the whole book, because…. well, I’m not even really sure where to start with this one. On the surface it’s a simple… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | COVENTRY – HELEN HUMPHREYS

  I went into this book not knowing what to expect. I really just picked it up on a whim since it’s such a small book and I was curious to find out what it was all about. It’s the story of Maeve, who is a firewatcher on Coventry Cathedral the fateful night (November 14, 1940) when Coventry was bombed… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | THE GUERNSEY LITERARY AND POTATO PEEL PIE SOCIETY – MARY ANN SHAFFER & ANNIE BARROWS

  I’ve had this book sitting on my shelf for… I don’t even know how long, but definitely years. And it’s not like I didn’t know it would be good. I’d been told. Several times, and by a few different people whose opinions of books I trust. So I have no idea why I waited so long to finally pick it… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | I HUNT KILLERS – BARRY LYGA

  I’ve had this on my shelf for a very long time, and when I was going through my hidden books on one of the double-stacked shelves looking for some to get rid of, I figured I might as well give this one a try. It’s the story of Jasper Dent, whose father is the most notorious serial killer in… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | PIGS IN HEAVEN – BARBARA KINGSOLVER

  ***WARNING: Contains spoilers for The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver*** In the sequel to Barbara Kingsolver’s The Bean Trees, we catch up with a slightly more mature and settled Taylor, who is living with her musician boyfriend Jax and her adopted daughter Turtle, now six. But of course, things can’t stay calm and secure for long. As in the last book, the… Read more »

THE SUNDAY REVIEW | BEFORE WE WERE STRANGERS – RENEE CARLINO

  I’ve heard Renee Carlino’s name around for a while now, but never got around to any of her books. I went in with only a vaguely fuzzy idea of what the book was about, mostly because I was bored one day, and it was there. It’s the story of first love, loss and the unexpected turns life takes. We… Read more »