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The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller is the best novel I have read in a long time. It took me a couple of chapters to get into it but then I was completely absorbed. It is beautifully written. I found myself reeling from each reveal and holding my breath as I turned the pages desperate to know what choice Elle would make... (More)
HAMNET by Maggie O'Farrell Believe what you hear about Hamnet. It's the most beautifully written book which takes you from the mystical to the historical, all telling an imagined/reconstructed life story of Shakespeare's family, especially his twins Judith and Hamnet. O'Farrell has said in interviews that she was perplexed as a schoolgirl why more wasn't made of the impact on Shakespeare of the death of Hamnet. It was only a few years after Hamnet died that Shakespeare wrote his most famous play – the names Hamnet and Hamlet were, apparently, used interchangeably. The play, of course, features a son mourning... (More)
THE MIDNIGHT LIBRARY by MATT HAIG I was late to this – it's been popular for most of the past year, but I don't feel too bad as I suspect it's going to stick around for a while yet: Matt Haig recently posted on Twitter that a film is in the works. The story is a readable, cleverly constructed examination of regret and second chances. Nora is a 33-year-old who is given the chance to go back and look at different lives she might have lived if she had made different choices. It's familiar territory – in film, *Groundhog Day*,... (More)
THE LAST DAY by ANDREW HUNTER MURRAY This is a highly readable dystopian thriller, set in a future Britain which has survived global devastation caused by the world stopping turning. Murray sets out a frighteningly convincing scenario – the gravity of a huge passing meteor brings Earth's spinning to a slowdown and then to a stop, meaning half the world is in eternal darkness while the other half is in never-ending searing heat. Britain is – through dumb luck – in a Goldilocks zone, but all too believably thinks its good fortune is something to do with its natural blessedness.... (More)