Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

Sally Rooney, Beautiful World, Where Are You (Faber & Faber: 2021, 9780571365425) Once or twice before I have been foolish enough to confess that I think something about a book is objectively weak. Here I concede: this is a competent novel but personally I just don’t connect with the characters very much. Rooney’s women have [...]

Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021 – My Winner

Women’s Prize for Fiction 2021 – My Winner

Cherie Jones, How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps Her House (Tinder Press: 2021, 9781472268778) Having read the shortlist, I have a firm winner: How the One-Armed Sister Sweeps her House by Cherie Jones. I have already showered it with well-deserved praise here, so I will just reiterate that the novel reads like an instant classic. The [...]

No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood

No One is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood

Patricia Lockwood, No One is Talking About This (Bloomsbury Circus: 2021, 9781526629760) So. This is awkward.  Not my favourite book. Most people seem to either like the book or show deference to its (alleged) formal experimentation, so this rant review is but a drop in the ocean and meant light-heartedly. In No One is Talking [...]

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. [...]