Author Archives: Ms A

May 17

Hamnet by Maggie O’Farrell

What a cracking work of fiction.  Hands down my most enjoyable read of the year so far. Hamnet is a fictionalised account of the death of William Shakespeare’s son. Clearly I wasn’t listening at school, because I had never known that Shakespeare had three children (a girl and then a twin boy and girl) and that […]

April 26

A Thousand Moons by Sebastian Barry

It’s the aftermath of the Civil War in Tennessee and “the time is so dangerous that the law is barely possible”.  An Indian girl named Winona is living on a farm with two soldiers who adopted her, their landlord and two recently emancipated black slaves. Released in March, A Thousand Moons is the latest from […]

April 11

Stoner by John Williams

I’m not sure I can explain to you how much I loved this book. Surely the most pure, quiet and understated work of fiction I have read in a long time. Stoner was first published in 1965 with no fanfare. Fifty years later, it was discovered by the general public and became a bestseller across […]

January 26

The Topeka School by Ben Lerner

I’ll admit it, I found this book a challenge. I would go so far as to say it is the trickiest book I’ve read in years. Swinging between fact and fiction and jumping forward and back in time, reading The Topeka School was the most exercise I did all holiday. The Topeka School is the […]

January 12

Fleishman Is In Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner

Fleishman is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner is one of the hit books of 2019 in the USA.  It was released in June with hit reviews and by September, there was a 10-party bidding war for TV rights. Taffy Brodesser-Akner is best known in the USA as a writer for GQ Magazine and the New […]

December 01

The Weekend by Charlotte Wood

It’s Christmas time and three seventy something female friends have come together to clean out a beach house. The house was owned by their fourth friend, Sylvie, who has recently died. There is a lot of work to do, so the surviving friends get started cleaning cupboards while trying to fill the gaps left by […]

October 21

The Martian by Andy Weir – Guest review by Sebastian aged 12

“I guess you could call it a “failure”, but I prefer the term “learning experience.” Sol 23: Today I read The Martian. Not all of it, but enough of it to read it all throughout the day and into the night. I promised to myself “After this chapter, no actually, after this one, no, I can […]