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June 2024 book review

Meet Me in Another Life, by Catriona Silvey   Warning, spoilers!   I drank this book down in a day.    Books and films don't really make me cry. I've sat guiltily dried-eyed next to tearful friends in the cinema (two different friends for 'Barbie'), or been handed a book and told it will break my heart, which has a good old twang at the strings but fails to produce a sniffle. Through experience I've learned that my tear-jerk barrier is just set higher. I don't say this because I'm an ice-queen, but to emphasise that I don't cry at books .    Catriona Silvey's book, 'Meet Me in Another Life', had me sobbing.   The premise is quite simple. Girl meets boy. Girl and boy feel a connection, a kinship. Tragedy strikes. Then girl meets boy again. And again. And again. Their relationship takes a different dynamic each life - of teacher and pupil, sister and brother, parent and adoptive child, friends, lovers, confidants - but every time they meet in t
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Six Sapphic Books

The Locked Library recently shared a post where I give my top six Sapphic books, so I thought I'd post them here as well! Each of these has a special place in my heart (or, in the case of 'The Girls', a rent-free attic space in my brain, where it has claimed squatter's rights and will not be budged no matter the cartoons and plushies thrown at it). Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistlestop Cafe Fannie Flagg   A novel from 1987 about an old woman recounting the stories of her youth in Whistle Stop, Alabama, and the cafe run by her sister-in-law, Idgie, and her friend, Ruth. A main plot arc follows Idgie and Ruth as they grow up, bonded by a tragedy. You can hear the Alabama drawl in the tone throughout the book, it's just lovely. I'm a sucker for the Alabama accent.  One of the most heartwarming books I've ever read. It explores themes of racism and bigotry as well as the struggles of growing older.  The film they made is gorgeous, I'd watch Kathy Bates in

My Book Has Published! The Gilded Crown, Book 1 of the Raven's Trade Series

    The Gilded Crown, HarperVoyager       My debut novel, The Gilded Crown , is now published! Having a book finished and out there is something of a dream come true, and it's a real honour to be publishing with HarperVoyager.    I've been writing since I was a child and I've always known it was what I wanted to do. I think it emerged from a complete paralysis about what I should morph my life into; pirate, firefighter, astronaut, soldier, I was spoiled for choice at a young age and very privileged to be in a position to become whatever I wanted to be (well, except perhaps pirate, but there's still time). As a writer, you can be anything and everything, you can study a thousand different areas of research (for the GC I read up on medieval medicine, herbology, and raven care, just to name a few), and become a thousand people. It is freedom, pure and simple, to cloak yourself in the fur of whatever beast you'd like to become. I have soared and galloped and now I'm

June 2023 book review

Shark Heart: a Love Story, by Emily Habeck Warning, spoilers! When I read the blurb for this book I didn't take the premise too seriously, thinking a story about a man turning into a shark could only be so poignant. How incredibly wrong I was! The book is surreal, weird and wonderful. Shark Heart follows the lives of two characters affected by a medical phenomenon of animal mutation; a gradual onset of symptoms that heralds the complete transformation of a human being into an animal. Recently married, their whole lives ahead, a young couple - Wren and Lewis - realise that Lewis has a Carcharodon carcharias mutation: he's going to turn into a great white shark. The book follows their individual adaptation to this diagnosis, flashing back on occasion to the transformation of Wren's mother into a komodo dragon. While Wren battles to keep Lewis with her, building him a saltwater pool in the garden, enduring Lewis' fading memories and increasingly violent behaviour, Lewis is

Film review: the Menu

The Menu (2022) Warning, spoilers! I recently watched the Menu, directed by Mark Mylod. I have never written a review for a film before, so bear with me if I haven’t used quite the right format for this sort of thing.  We've all read stories about fine dining experiences that go a bit too far. Three course meals, each consisting of one mouthful of food, leaving guests starving and short a hundred quid. The Michelin-starred restaurant that serves citrus foam which guests have to lick from a plaster mould of the chef's mouth. The Menu takes this feeling of ridiculousness and elevates it, mocking not just the chefs who would offer such food, but also guests who take it seriously.  I went into the film knowing there was a twist and fully expecting that the twist would be that they were all cannibals eating either previous guests or the staff. I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say I was half right; the phrase 'eat the rich' feels appropriate.  The