Book Review: The Return of the Native

One November 5th in 1840’s rural England, several bonfires are lit across the undulating hills and valleys of Egdon Heath to mark Guy Fawkes. One burning particularly impressively is Eustacia Vye’s bonfire. Eustacia grew up in a nearby town but, following the deaths of her parents, has since had to live on her grandfather’s estate…

October and November Book Buys

I swear I am trying to cut down. These were months where I had no plan to buy anything specific, no premeditated trip to second-hand or independent bookstores. And yet, again, I’ve ended up buying new books and more than I thought I would. Most were the result of bad days. Being a stay-at-home parent…

Book Review: The Penguin History of New Zealand

So, have the results of the Brexit Referendum and the US Presidential Election made you consider moving to New Zealand? The joke that became increasingly common during the campaigns for Brexit and Donald Trump’s presidential bid is that it was perhaps time to consider moving to New Zealand (Canada and Ireland also getting frequent mentions).…

Book Review: The Ghost

The narrator of Robert Harris’ The Ghost is a ghost-writer of celebrity autobiographies whose agent approaches him with an unexpected offer. A former British Prime Minister, Adam Lang, is in need of a writer for his memoirs. The previous writer, a former aide to the PM, has died suddenly in an accident and with the…

Book Review: The White Tiger

The White Tiger is Aravind Adiga’s acclaimed debut novel which won the 2008 Booker Prize. An interesting take on the rags-to-riches story, its greatest achievements are its portrait of modern India from bottom to top and its powerful political statement; created without making the reader feel they are reading a political novel. In The White Tiger,…