Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Stone Diaries — Carol Shields

The Stone Diaries is (are?) an account in diary-like format of the life of the fictional Daisy Goodwill Flett, from her birth up until her death. She is born in 1905 and lives into her 90s, and the book therefore … Continue reading

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The Redundancy of Courage — Timothy Mo

I really wanted to like this book. Set in the fictional Danu, the novel explores the history of East Timor through the eyes of Adolph Ng, a Chinese man who studied in Canada. Ng becomes involved in the local scene … Continue reading

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Amongst Women — John McGahern

Probably McGahern’s most famous novel, Amongst Women is a masterpiece of condensed, lyrical prose and there’s a part of me that’s disappointed it didn’t win at the Booker. I was reminded strongly of the 2013 prize, where a faux-Victorian novel … Continue reading

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Franklin Pierce — Michael F. Holt

Poor Franklin Pierce. History has not been kind to his legacy, and probably rightly so. But I can’t help but feel sorry for the man. He comes across as sincere and well-meaning, and had a long record of public service … Continue reading

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An Awfully Big Adventure — Beryl Bainbridge

Semi-autobiographical, An Awfully Big Adventure is about a young girl trying to make it in the theatre, and falling in love. Stella Bradshaw was raised by her aunt and uncle, two mild-mannered, well-meaning individuals representing a peculiarly English notion of … Continue reading

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Possession: A Romance — A. S. Byatt

Possession is not for everyone. It’s long and rambling, taking an age to narrate the most mundane of actions, and it’s packaged in a faux-Victorian style, thankfully borrowed more from poetry than novels. But I’m not alone in loving it, … Continue reading

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The Remains of the Day — Kazuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day is Ishiguro’s third novel, and probably remains his most famous. Many people I know rate it as one of the best books they have read and two acquaintances consider it their favourite book. When I … Continue reading

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