Category Archives: Fiction

Ordinary People

In Ordinary People, Diana Evans follows two couples as they grapple with the possibility that, after years together, they are no longer in love. Melissa and Michael, the couple that is the center of the book, live in South London with … Continue reading

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Learning to Swim

Abigail Onions was something of a misfit at school. She had trouble with a bully and didn’t have a lot of friends. For years, her only friend was not someone she especially liked, just someone willing to spend time with … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 2 Comments


When Ada was born, she did not come into the world alone. She was accompanied by a group of spirit/gods, or ogbanje. These spirits were largely silent, but they had an influence that grew over time. In Akwaeke Emezi’s novel, … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 2 Comments

The Parasites

The Delaney children had an unconventional childhood, moving all around, spending time backstage as their famous parents performed, their only constant being each other. And as adults, the can’t seen to form strong relationships with other people. In this 1950 … Continue reading

Posted in Classics, Fiction | 6 Comments

Praise Song for the Butterflies

Abeo Kata had a happy, relatively uneventful life in Ukemby (a fictional country between Ghana and Togo). There were some minor dramas here are there, but she was mostly shielded from them, focusing instead on the fun times, such as … Continue reading

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Never the Bride

Having lived a (very very) long life, Brenda, the narrator of this novel by Paul Magrs, has settled in Whitby to run her own B&B. Her best friend Effie has a junk shop next door, and the two ladies enjoy … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries/Crime | 4 Comments

Ghost Wall

Seventeen-year-old Silvie and her parents have joined up with a group of experiential archaeology students to spend part of their summer in rural England, attempting to live as the people of the iron age did. They wear simple tunics, forage … Continue reading

Posted in Contemporary, Fiction | 12 Comments

The Secret Place

The Secret Place of Tana French’s fifth novel is a bulletin board at St. Kilda’s School, where girls can leave notes, sharing their secrets anonymously. When Holly Mackey, daughter of Frank Mackey from The Likeness and Faithful Place, finds a note about … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Mysteries/Crime | 6 Comments

When I Whistle

This 1971 novel by Shūsaku Endō (translated from Japanese by Van G. Gessel) tells the story of a father and son, separated by time and temperament and war. The father, Ozu, spends much of his time looking back on his … Continue reading

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The Long Song

I’ve recommended Andrea Levy’s novel Small Island many times since I’ve read it, and I’ve wanted to read more of her books but (as usual) never got around to it. Her death back in February put her back on my radar, … Continue reading

Posted in Fiction, Historical Fiction | Leave a comment