Review: First Love by Gwendoline Riley

First Love; the complexity, pain, failure, and abuse of love. A short novel, at 160 or so pages, when tense emotions ooze from the pages.   “A blistering account of a marriage in crisis and a portrait of a woman caught between withdrawal and self-assertion, depression and rage. Neve, the novel’s acutely intelligent narrator, is beset by financial anxiety and isolation, but can’t quite manage to extricate herself from her volatile partner, Edwyn. Told with ………

Review: The Power by Naomi Alderman

What would you do, if you awoke one day to find you could shoot electricity from your hands? “In The Power the world is a recognisable place: there’s a rich Nigerian kid who larks around the family pool; a foster girl whose religious parents hide their true nature; a local American politician; a tough London girl from a tricky family. But something vital has changed, causing their lives to converge with devastating effect. Teenage girls ………

A New Treasure of Poetry compiled by Neil Philip

If I read a lot as a child, I don’t remember it. So it’s nice when I get little reminders that there was more to me that TV when I find books such as ‘A New Treasure of Poetry’ that my Aunt and Uncle gave to me for Christmas, 1994. I was eight, we must have been writing poetry at school, and the Wondercrump poetry book had sparked my imagination. Only, I doubt I actually ………

Review: The Trouble With Goats and Sheep by Joanna Cannon

When I’m feeling low or dissatisfied I often find myself nostalgic for an England that was never mine or never existed. A rose tinted community of simpler times without mobile phones and Google, when privacy was just that. Then I remember the privileges today’s society affords me and how little I would know without the internet. Nevertheless, I crave the anonymity of the past as much as I crave the exposure of the present, and as such, ………