When author Nicola Cornick agreed to review Jean Fullerton’s latest novel, A Ration Book Childhood, she had no idea that her first taste of these World War II East End books would end up with her paying it the ultimate compliment… buying the rest of the series. A Ration Book Childhood is a richly-textured and […]
Elizabeth Buchan’s new novel, The Museum of Broken Promises, is a keenly observant exploration of secrets and loss set in 1980s Prague and Paris in the present day. Catherine Hokin finds it “complex and both haunting and haunted”.
Mary Chamberlain’s latest novel is The Hidden, which focuses on the German occupation of the Channel Islands during the Second World War. Duncan Barrett reviews her “taut and troubling” book. In 2016, I spent three months in the Channel Islands, interviewing more than a hundred men and women who lived through the German Occupation during […]
It’s a nerve-wracking thing, a series, warns Catherine Hokin. The author commits to a character, the reader buys in; everyone steels themselves against the nightmare moment when a shark will appear and be thoroughly jumped. Well, fear not, Oswald de Lacy fans, this is a shark-free zone: SD Sykes’s latest outing for her medieval crime-solver […]
“The wombat is a joy, a triumph, a delight, a madness.” Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The leader of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, Rossetti, had a particular affection for wombats, and one of them turns up in a small but key role in Elizabeth Macneal’s much-acclaimed novel The Doll Factory, set in 1850s London around the world of the […]
Deb Willet, companion to Elizabeth, the wife of Samuel Pepys, takes centre stage in this intriguing tale of love, espionage and murder in Restoration London. Deb takes the position in Pepys’ household in order to escape from the tyranny of sour-faced Aunt Beth. Deb’s father is in Ireland about his business affairs; her mother deserted […]
On August 10th, 1849, a vicious form of Asiatic cholera (which would ravage all parts of Britain) made its appearance in Hull. This terrible scourge devastated the city for three months and killed 1,860 – a rate of one in 43 of the population. D.M. Mark uses this grim year in the City of Culture’s […]
“What a life that man had led: first a farmer in West Africa, then a soldier, then a prisoner of war, a slave in Seville, a soldier again in the Netherlands and at last a rich Antwerp iron maker.” An epic sweep of a life in an epic sweep of a book. Ken Follett’s A […]