Month: May 2016

Books – The Glorious Heresies – Lisa McInerney

Book five in my Bailey’s challenge and The Glorious Heresies was a welcome change of pace after Ruby (and bearing in mind I still have A Little Life to go). This is the debut novel for Lisa McInerney and what a novel it is. Reminiscent of Roddy Doyle, full of that very Irish dark but humorous language that draws you into the characters quickly. … Read More Books – The Glorious Heresies – Lisa McInerney

All Being Equal – Part Four

All Being Equal – Part 1 All Being Equal – Part Two All Being Equal – Part Three The Olympia Theatre was located across the river, in a destitute borough of south London. If Mrs Harper had seen these streets she would never had let her out, Celine thought. Most of the women were hat-less or, worse in Celine’s sheltered view, in shapeless things … Read More All Being Equal – Part Four

Black Chronicles: Photographic Portraits 1862 – 1948

  Apologies for the pictures on this review – these were the best I could take on my phone and besides, you should really go and check them out yourself if you can get to London (several photographs are shown on the National Portrait Gallery and Autograph ABP websites). When I began writing my novel a number of people seemed surprised that, not only … Read More Black Chronicles: Photographic Portraits 1862 – 1948

Ruby – Cynthia Bond

This is a book that promises much. Comparisons to Toni Morrison, Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Guardian) and Alice Walker (Barnes and Noble Review) mean that you cannot come to this book without certain expectations. I was not disappointed. It did remind me very much of Beloved in particular, through haunting lyrical prose, hatred and violence, and the weaving of stories shared by the people of Liberty. … Read More Ruby – Cynthia Bond

All Being Equal – Part Three

All Being Equal – Part 1 All Being Equal – Part Two The next day dawned dry and bright, but if Celine had hoped to wake to a mind free from Daniel then she was thwarted early. She arrived at the dining table for breakfast to be greeted with an envelope bearing her name. Adelaide watched her as she sat. ‘You have a letter, … Read More All Being Equal – Part Three

Carlyle’s House, London

Not many have  heard of Thomas Carlyle – I certainly hadn’t before embarking on my research into the Victorian period – but he was much admired by Charles Dickens, William Morris and many other well-known personalities of the era. He also founded the London Library which still boasts many a famous literary member today. Thomas and his wife Jane moved to London from Scotland in the summer of … Read More Carlyle’s House, London

The Portable Veblen – Elizabeth McKenzie

Book three and halfway through my challenge to read and review the Baileys shortlist (I’m leaving A Little Life until last as I feel this will be trickiest to get through before 8th June!). I picked up The Portable Veblen next as I love the cover. I will freely admit to being a big fan of squirrels, an animal that features very heavily in … Read More The Portable Veblen – Elizabeth McKenzie

All Being Equal – Part Two

All Being Equal – Part 1 He sprinted past Celine as she stood there open-mouthed, leaping acrobatically as the wind tried to lift the bonnet out of reach. He caught the end of the pink ribbon and reeled it in. ‘Get inside,’ he called out as he ran back, following her up the steps and in to the busy entrance hall of the academy. … Read More All Being Equal – Part Two

Victoria & Albert Museum, London – Introductory Tour

  The V&A run a whole programme of free tours covering everything from the Medieval and Renaissance Galleries to LGBTQ related objects that are found within its collections. The introductory tour runs four times a day from the meeting point in the Grand Entrance of the museum (current times are 10.30, 12.30, 13.30 & 15.30 but do check online). I went on the 15.30 … Read More Victoria & Albert Museum, London – Introductory Tour

The Improbability of Love – Hannah Rothschild

Next on my TBR pile for the Baileys award was this, the debut novel from Hannah Rothschild. I’ll admit it: I picked it up next because of the eye-catching cover, the rave reviews and because it seemed like a fun read. So did it live up my expectations? From the cover blurb you know to expect a love story. Annie McDee is searching for … Read More The Improbability of Love – Hannah Rothschild

All Being Equal – Part 1

The rain clouds ripped apart above the city of London, the downpour impartial to the wealth or poverty of its victims. Of course, the rich man will travel from place to place by carriage and with little inconvenience, while the beggar has no roof over his head, only his feet to carry him as he runs to seek shelter. Celine Martin’s only concern on … Read More All Being Equal – Part 1

Update – Tales from the Olympia

What is this blog about? Well, I have spent the past two years writing a novel. Set in Victorian London, the story follows a girl, Viola Johnson, growing up in a mixed race family. Part coming of age story, part tale of revenge, I have discovered a whole world of characters. Viola is an actress and her friends and family are closely linked with the … Read More Update – Tales from the Olympia