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 [...]

Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler

Redhead by the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler, Redhead on the Side of the Road (Chatto & Windus: 2020, 9781784743475) Meet Micah Mortimer, a Baltimore middle-aged man, caretaker of his building, and founder and single employee of Tech Hermit, a tech help business. He follows a rigid routine which includes running (in cutoffs or jeans) every morning and performing meticulously scheduled [...]

First Lines Wednesday – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

First Lines Wednesday – Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

Charlotte Brontë, Jane Eyre (Penguin Classics: 2006, 9780141441146) "There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs. Reed, when there was no company, dined early) the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, [...]

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak

Elif Shafak, 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World (Penguin Books: 2020, 9780241979464) 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World begins with the end – of Tequila Leila’s life. Her death sparks a string of memories that take us from her birth to her death; from a childhood of oppression and abuse in [...]