Author Archives: Nirmala

Clock Dance by Anne Tyler

Willa Drake has always been a passive participant in her own life – she has let others call shots for her, and watch her life pass her by. But now at the age of 61, Willa has a chance to change all that – when Willa receives a call from a total stranger giving her […]

My Sister, the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite

My Sister, the Serial Killer, set in Lagos, Nigeria, is one of the most compelling and fast-paced reads among the Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlisted novels in 2019. I managed to devour it in a single setting, and it has a simple premise. Ayoola, Korede’s little sister, is everything Korede is not. She is a […]

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones

So I have decided that I’m going to try and read all the Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlisted books before the winner announcement on 5 June. Even though the Women’s Prize for Fiction is one of the awards I follow, I usually take my sweet time reading the shortlist. But this year, since the only […]

They All Fall Down by Rachel Howzell Hall

Miriam Macy, the protagonist of They All Fall Down, has been down on her luck lately – her husband has left her for another woman and Morgan, Miriam’s teenage daughter, seems to love her new stepmom more. So Miriam is thrilled to hear that she has been selected to be part of a new reality […]

The Wedding of Zein by Tayeb Salih

I’ve been fond of reading for as long as I can remember, but I only started reading translated fiction roughly a decade ago. Not a lot of books get translated to Sinhala, my native tongue, so I wasn’t able to access most of the translated works until I improved my English reading fluency. And now, […]

Smallbone Deceased by Michael Gilbert

I really do appreciate British Library for taking the pains to rediscover and reprint some of the forgotten crime classics of the golden age! Before I started following this series, Dame Agatha and Georges Simenon were the only crime classics writers on my radar. While I like to believe I would have come across great […]

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje

Warlight begins in 1945, after WWII had ended, as Nathaniel’s parents are getting ready to move across the world for work. The fourteen-year-old Nathaniel and his elder sister, Rachel, aren’t invited to accompany them on this voyage – instead, they are expected to stay behind in England and continue their education under the watchful eyes […]

Good Evening, Mrs. Craven – The Wartime Stories of Mollie Panter-Downes: War Among Strangers

The stories in Good Evening, Mrs. Craven are definitely taking a sombre tone now. War Among Strangers had been published on 17 January 1942, so Mollie must have written it right after the Pearl Harbor attack. In it, Mrs. Bristowe is the wife of a British civil servant. When WWII broke, she and her husband […]

The Italian Teacher by Tom Rachman

Before I begin my review, let me take a moment to say how much I love this cover! While I agree with the age old saying that one mustn’t judge a book by its cover, nothing can explain the excitement I feel when I see aesthetically pleasing designs. I suppose we have the advent of […]

Good Evening, Mrs Craven – The Wartime Stories of Mollie Panter-Downes: Goodbye, My Love

In Goodbye, My Love (published on 13 December 1941), Adrian Vyner is a young man who has just been called to serve in WWII. Adrian is to leave London in four days, so he and his wife Ruth have a lot to do before that, and on the top of that list is to pay […]

Redemption Point by Candice Fox

Two years ago before Ted Conkaffey’s life was turned upside down by the accusation that he had abducted thirteen-year-old Claire Bingley, raped her and left her to die in the woods, he was a narcotics cop who had just welcomed a baby daughter into the world with his wife, Kelly. Ted had been accused because […]

Good Evening, Mrs. Craven – The Wartime Stories of Mollie Panter-Downes: Literary Scandal at the Sewing Party

Mrs. Ramsay’s sewing party is back in full swing once again with some recurring characters from Battle of the Greeks! Before Mrs. Ramsay started hosting these parties, she had always taken their small Sussex village to be a “sleepy hamlet where nothing ever happened.” But now, thanks to her new lady friends, she knows nothing […]

French Leave by Anna Gavalda

I know it was just the other day while reviewing The White Book that I mentioned I was never the one to wish for a sibling while growing up. As an only child, my childhood was a blast, and I loved (LOVE!) being the center of my parents’ universe. So I never had much time […]

Good Evening, Mrs. Craven – The Wartime Stories of Mollie Panter-Downes: Fin de Siècle

Fin de Siècle (published on 12 July 1941) is one of my favorites in the collection! Don and Ernestine Merrill are a young bohemian couple from London. Up until the first few months of the war, they had been fierce pacifists who never shied away from making disparaging remarks of the “military caste.” But now […]

Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce

Alison has a lot of good things going on for her. At home, she has a little girl who adores her to bits and a caring husband. Then at work, she has a job she loves as a criminal barrister. Alison has worked hard to get where she is career-wise, so getting her first murder […]