Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller

Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller

Claire Fuller, Unsettled Ground (Fig Tree: 2021, 9780241457443) Unsettled Ground by Claire Fuller tells the story of 51-year-old twins Jeanie and Julius. They live in isolation in rural England with their mother, earning just enough to live on by selling produce from their modest garden and the odd jobs Julius takes on. When their mother [...]

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris

Zakiya Dalila Harris, The Other Black Girl (Bloomsbury Publishing: 2021, 9781526630377) I see the term “genre-bending” knocked about haphazardly pretty often, but I think it is a fitting way to describe The Other Black Girl by Zakiya Dalila Harris. It’s not quite a thriller, because for most of the book we get social commentary and [...]

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Brit Bennett, The Vanishing Half (Dialogue Books: 2020, 9780349701479) The Vignes twins are descendants of the founder of Mallard, a small, unmapped town in Louisiana. Alphonse Decuir, a formerly enslaved, biracial man now in possession of his father’s land, wanted to build a place for people “who would never be accepted as white”. His vision [...]

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones

How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones

Cherie Jones, How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House (Tinder Press: 2021, 9781472268778) How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House by Cherie Jones is set in the mid-1980s in the fictional Baxter’s Beach, Barbados, where luxury holiday villas skirt the paradisiacal beach and intrude on the local community that is afflicted by poverty and violence. [...]

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Yaa Gyasi, Transcendent Kingdom (Penguin: 2020, 9780241988664) In Ya Gyasi’s Transcendent Kingdom our narrator, Gifty, is nearing the completion of her neuroscience PhD at Stanford University where she researches “the neural circuits of reward-seeking behaviour.” Her routine is interrupted when her mother, who suffers from severe depression, comes to stay, bringing the past to the [...]

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

The Dutch House by Ann Patchett

Ann Patchett, The Dutch House (Bloomsbury Publishing: 2019, 9781526624062) From the outside, the Conroy family looked like the picture of the American dream. Cyril Conroy, having taken advantage of the post-war economic boom, invests in real-estate and quickly takes his family from living in a precarious military base, to a life of luxury in an [...]

First Lines Wednesday – Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman

First Lines Wednesday – Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman

André Aciman, Call Me by Your Name (Atlantic Books: 2007, 9781786495259) " 'Later!' The word, the voice, the attitude. I'd never heard anyone use "later" to say goodbye before. It sounded harsh, curt, and dismissive, spoken with the veiled indifference of people who may not care to see or hear from you again. It is [...]