• ‘The School for Good Mothers’: When a mother’s very bad day becomes a bad life
    This review contains minor spoilers for The School for Good Mothers. We all have bad days, some worse than others. Sometimes it’s a bad hair day, or you lock yourself out of your house or your car. On others you break a nail and then your phone. On Frida’s very…More
  • ‘Betty’: a devastating yet grand coming-of-age tale
    This review contains mild spoilers for Betty, and mentions of sexual abuse. I haven’t quite been able to stop talking about this novel since I turned the final page, because Tiffany McDaniel’s Betty might be one of the saddest books I’ve ever read. It tells a somewhat fictionalised version of…More
  • Disgusting and depraved: Missouri Williams’ debut ‘The Doloriad’ is something else entirely
    Content warning: discussions of descriptions of incest, fatphobia, ableism, rape.This review also contains some spoilers. The Doloriad is a fascinating and thought-provoking book, though not in the way you’re probably expecting. Missouri Williams’ debut novel follows a family, or rather a clan, descended from incest struggling for survival in the…More
  • Kind of sexy, kind of disappointing – is ‘Milk Fed’ a well-disguised trainwreck?
    Trigger warning: discussion of eating disorders and weight stigma. Melissa Broder’s Milk Fed was like a literary emotional rollercoaster for me, and while I hate actual rollercoasters, I think I enjoyed this one more than I would’ve expected. The book follows Rachel, a lapsed Jewish woman with a restrictive eating…More
  • ‘Animal’ – a raw, fearless, and disgusting debut
    Trigger warning: discussion of sexual assault and rape. On the cover pictured above, Lisa Taddeo’s Animal is described as a ‘raging, funny and fierce thriller’ by the Financial Times. In my honest opinion, it is probably only two of those things, and it is certainly not funny. Taddeo’s debut novel…More
  • ‘Our Wives Under The Sea’, a poetic but unnerving literary horror
    I once saw this book described as a ‘literary horror’ in a Goodreads review online, and immediately thought that no other phrase aptly described the kind of story this is. Our Wives Under The Sea is author Julia Armfield’s debut novel, coming after her critically acclaimed collection of short stories…More
  • ‘Luster’, a sharp and strange debut about an artist, her boyfriend, and his wife
    Luster, which is author Raven Leilani’s debut novel, follows Edie – a twenty-three year old Black artist struggling to survive on her painfully low salary at a publishing house in New York. She avoids the many men she’s had sex with at the office, including her ex-boyfriend Mark, and comes…More
  • ‘I Who Have Never Known Men’, a Haunting Memoir of Sorts
    I Who Have Never Known Men is the first book by Belgian author Jacqueline Harpman (1929-2012) to be translated into English (2018). Originally published in French in 1995 under the title Moi qui n’ai pas connu les hommes, this is an incredibly profound dystopian science-fiction novel that I was utterly…More
  • ‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’, all that glitters isn’t gold in this Old Hollywood tale
    The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo seems to have taken the internet by storm recently, a few years since its 2017 release. Its cover, a bronze woman in an elegant emerald-green dress and a short crop of bright blonde hair, is practically engrained in my brain. For several months before…More
  • Charlotte McConaghy’s debut ‘Migrations’ depicts one woman’s devastatingly beautiful journey
    Migrations is Australian author Charlotte McConaghy’s debut novel, and it is an incredibly emotive and beautifully-written tale of journeys, both necessary and dangerous, both human and animalistic. I came across Migrations on the increasingly influential platform that is BookTok, a particular side of TikTok dedicated to the world of books.…More
  • ‘Love Orange’, Suburban Mediocrity Meets Opioids and Smart Homes
    Love Orange, hailed as a ‘vivid comic cocktail about a modern American family,’ is translator Natasha Randall’s debut novel. The book chronicles the lives of the Tinkley family: a traditional, all-American, white, Christian suburban family living in a stereotypical cul-de-sac in the town of Bentonville. Parents Jenny and Hank relocate…More
  • ‘Under The Blue’, a Pandemic in Europe… Sound Familiar?
    Under The Blue is Oana Aristide’s debut novel, published in 2021. It chronicles the experience of a reclusive artist, Harry, in the midst of a plague-like pandemic that leaves Europe a deserted, soon-to-be-inhabitable wasteland littered with corpses in the year 2020. At the same time, researchers Lisa and Paul are…More
  • ‘Cleopatra and Frankenstein’ is a profound, emotional look at one couple’s spontaneous marriage
    Cleopatra and Frankenstein is Coco Mellor’s appropriately-labelled ‘triumphant debut’. Chronicling the impulsive and ill-dated marriage between Cleo and Frank, and all is negative side-effects, Mellors debut novel is a wickedly beautiful read. Cleo is a twentysomething struggling artist. Originally from London, she’s found herself in New York on a student…More
  • Three – Book Review
    D.A. Mishani’s Three, translated to English by Jessica Cohen, is a visceral crime thriller. Set in Israel, though spanning other countries such as Romania and Poland, three women, unrelated but soon connected in a way they’ll never know, will all meet the same man: Gil Hamtzani, an immigration lawyer. Orna,…More
  • The Book of Barcelona – Book Review
    Barcelona is my happy place. I’ve been three times, twice with family in 2016 and 2021 and once alone, on a semi-last-minute solo trip in June of 2019. That spring, I was in my second year of university (studying Modern History) and was unbelievably stressed by the pressure of trying…More
  • Lia Middleton’s ‘When They Find Her’ is a Gripping Psychological Tale
    When They Find Her is immediately gripping. Lia Middleton doesn’t take too long to get into the dramatic mystery of Naomi’s night alone with her young daughter, Freya. There’s a near-instant air of intrigue that Middleton develops through a number of ways. The issue of Naomi’s past, and the secrets…More
  • Abigail Dean’s ‘Girl A’ is a Raw and Shocking Debut
    Girl A is about healing, specifically Lex’s attempts to heal in the decades-long aftermath of a childhood characterised by pain, suffering, and deprivation. Through frequent flashbacks we learn about the the cruelty experienced by the Gracie children, all seven, all recognisable by the shock of their blonde hair. At 11 Moor Woods Road, now known as the notorious ‘House of Horrors’…More
  • Blog Tour: The Lost Sister – Book Review
    This novel combines two genres I love: historical fiction and mystery, and so I had very high hopes for The Lost Sister. Even better, this book features a dual timeline, a storytelling technique I’m rather fond of, and is very much a woman-led piece of work. But perhaps my expectations were a little too high, because I was left feeling grossly underwhelmed and largely disappointed. More
  • Kazuo Ishiguro’s ‘Klara and the Sun’ Depicts Love & Devotion Through a Robot’s Eyes
    In Klara and the Sun, Ishiguro completely reframes the genre of dystopian science-fiction by restructuring what one has come to expect from it: the despair; the desperation; the futurism; the love. This novel is such an enchanting and immersive read led by an exceptionally strong-willed and kind-hearted (artificial) girl that it easily earns five out of five stars.More
  • ‘Open Water’ is a Beautifully Honest Look at Black British Love
    This review is spoiler-free! Two young people meet at a pub in South East London. Both are Black British, both won scholarships to private schools where they struggled to belong, both are now artists – he a photographer, she a dancer – trying to make their mark in a city…More
  • Haven’t They Grown – Book Review
    Why haven’t they grown? This impossible question is one that this entire novel is written around, and it certainly is intriguing. From this premise alone I truly had no idea what to expect by way of explaining Thomas and Emily’s seeming inability to grow. At first, I thought it might be some science experiment gone awfully wrong, or, even worse, perfectly right. Then I wondered if the explanation was more sinister, more evil, and indeed it is as twisted as you can imagine.More
  • Space Hopper – Book Review
    Helen Fisher’s Space Hopper has been called ‘the most recommended debut of 2021’ and for good reason. This novel is about mothers and daughters, and how memories alone are not enough to cope with the grief caused by losing a loved one, especially a parent, and that, if given the opportunity, you would do something absolutely insane just to see them again. The unreliability of our memories is also hugely important in the telling of this story. Faye is your ordinary, everyday woman…More
  • The Glass House – Book Review
    The Glass House (also known as The Daughters of Foxcote Manor) is a lush, deeply descriptive novel about mothers and their daughters – about families and the age-old secrets they hold deep in the pits of their memories and their hearts. A suspenseful family mystery, with some elements of romance, this novel unravels in two distant (yet fundamentally connected) timelines.More
  • Her Sister’s Child – Book Review
    Her Sister’s Child is indeed a thrilling psychological tale that is a mystery at its core. As Paula and Johnny realise that others must know about the baby as well they embark on a gripping investigation to figure out exactly what happened in the days before Lizzie’s untimely death. The novel cycles between the past and present perspectives of three seemingly disconnected women: Paula, social worker Marian, and pregnant teenager Charlie.More