Month: January 2018

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

Shortlisted for last year’s Man Booker prize, Exit West begins as a love story and turns into something more. Not quite magic realism, it is a novel that uses the fantastical in a way that reminded me a little of The Underground Railroad. In a city swollen by refugees but still mostly at peace, or at least not yet openly at war, a young man met … Read More Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

A little bit late to the party (Joanna Cannon’s second novel has just come out), The Trouble with Goats and Sheep was one of the big debuts of 2016. Mrs Creasy was still missing on Tuesday, and she was even more missing on Wednesday, when she’d arranged to sell raffle tickets for the British Legion. By Thursday, her name was being passed over garden fences and … Read More The Trouble with Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

Mr Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo

Seventy-four years old, Antiguan born and bred, flamboyant Hackney personality, Barry is known for his dapper taste and fondness for retro suits. He is a husband, a father and a grandfather. And for the past sixty years he has been in a secret relationship with his childhood friend and soulmate, Morris. The obvious theme of this novel is the prejudice surrounding gay relationships, focusing … Read More Mr Loverman by Bernardine Evaristo

The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

Amongst a spate of recent novels set in Auschwitz, The Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on a real man, Lale Sokolov, a Slovakian Jew who was forced to work in that role during his imprisonment in Auschwitz. In 2003 Heather Morris met Lale and they became friends over the years it took for him to tell her his story. Morris is a screenwriter rather than … Read More The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris

On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

With the film version of On Chesil Beach due out later this year, it seemed a good time to try another McEwan (also, a short novel felt manageable on a New Year’s hangover). I’ve had mixed feelings when it comes to McEwan. I almost always like his ideas, but sometimes find his novels to be populated with insufferable characters. This story is mainly set on one … Read More On Chesil Beach by Ian McEwan

The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan

This book has been on my TBR since earlier this year when it was longlisted for the Baileys Prize. A hefty (545 pages) epic tale set in Kentucky and centred on horse racing – you’ve got to be in the right mood to pick that up. Am I glad I bothered? Yes and no… This is the story of two families. One is rich … Read More The Sport of Kings by C.E. Morgan