Monthly Archives: November 2017

Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien

Do Not Say We Have Nothing is a book that completely surprised me! When I started to work my way through the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2017 shortlist, I kept Do Not Say We Have Nothing for last because the reviews I read about it were mostly negative. One of the recurring complaints by some […]

Dimanche and Other Stories by Irène Némirovsky: Les Rivages Heureux (Those Happy Shores)

It’s new year’s eve, and Christiane, an elegant, radiant woman of twenty-two is out at a ball with her mother, Madame Boehmer. Christiane has a good time at the ball, for she is a woman “who views the world as a mirror in which she sees only her own image, made lovelier by the interest […]

First Love by Gwendoline Riley

Neve, a writer in her mid-thirties lives in London with her husband Edwyn, an older man. Thier marriage seems to be blissful at first. They are affectionate with each other, have cute pet names! But soon Gwendoline Riley shatters any illusions we might have had about their marriage by showing us the toxic side of […]

Dimanche and Other Stories by Irène Némirovsky: Dimanche (Sunday)

Dimanche and Other Stories is a book that I have been looking forward to reading as a part of my Irène Némirovsky Year-Long project. During her lifetime Némirovsky wrote over thirty short stories, and ten of her stories are included in Persephone Book #87. Dimanche, the title story, juxtaposes a mother and a daughter’s experiences […]

The Dark Circle by Linda Grant

In The Dark Circle, Lenny and Miriam are twins living in London after World War II. Their father had passed away when they were young, and in this period of postwar austerity, their mother is trying her best to look out for them with their uncle Manny’s help. Manny, having lost his only son to […]

London Stories: The Umbrella by Hanif Kureishi

I’ve been wanting to read Hanif Kureishi’s The Buddha of Suburbia for a while now, so I was glad to see his short story, The Umbrella included in London Stories. Roger, the narrator of The Umbrella is a father of two young sons, who has separated from his wife recently. One evening he takes his […]

Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo

Stay with Me follows the story of Yejide and Akin, a young Nigerian couple who have been married for four years. They are having trouble getting pregnant, and this is unfortunate for them and mostly for Yejide, as her in-laws expect her to demonstrate her worthiness by giving birth to a male offspring. When all […]

London Stories: Islington by Irma Kurtz

Islington is an essay taken from Irma Kurtz’s book; Dear London: Notes from the Big City. Irma Kurtz is an internationally renowned agony aunt, who worked for Nova in the mid-1960s, a UK magazine which touched on ‘taboo subjects’ for its day. A native New Jerseyan, Kurtz had settled in London after traveling in Europe […]

The Sport of Kings by C. E. Morgan

The Sport of Kings which is seemingly about horse racing is also a novel about race. It begins as a family saga and focuses on one of the wealthiest and longest running dynasties in Kentucky, the Forges. The head of the Forge family, John is a racist, misogynistic tyrant, and his only son Henry is […]

London Stories: In Defence of the Underground by Doris Lessing

In Defence of the Underground took me back to my summer days in London and left me feeling nostalgic. Written in 1992, Doris Lessing’s essay is a description of a tube ride Lessing takes from Mill Lane station to Charing Cross. It’s a patchwork of her memories and observations where Lessing skillfully portrays a changing […]

The Power by Naomi Alderman

In today’s world where men holding power positions sometimes abuse their power to oppress and subdue others, one often wonders if the world run by women would be more kind and gentle. The Power is Naomi Alderman’s exploration of such a world where patriarchal societies do not exist. The Power is a story told from […]

London Stories: Daisy Overend by Muriel Spark

The Public Image is the first book by Muriel Spark I read. I was impressed by Spark’s story of Annabelle, a rising actress, and her husband Fredrick, a playwright who is extremely resentful of Annabelle’s success and goes onto to concoct a scandal to taint Annabelle’s public image. Although The Public Image was written almost […]