Category Contemporary Fiction

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

Victorine by Maude Hutchins

Because I’ve had more hits than misses with NYRB classics, nowadays I don’t even read the descriptions when I buy them. So far my criteria for buying NYRB classics has been whether or not they are selling at a discount, so bought on that basis, I had no clue that Victorine is a story about a […]

Fire in the Blood by Irène Némirovsky

Fire in the Blood‘s narrator, Silvio leads a quiet life in a small farming village in France. He had spent his youth traveling the world with his string of exotic lovers, but now he is old and lives by himself. The novella begins with a visit paid to Silvio by Helen, his distant cousin, with […]

Dunbar by Edward St. Aubyn

Hogarth Shakespeare’s latest novel, Dunbar is Edward St. Aubyn’s take on the Bard of Avon’s famous tragedy King Lear. I wasn’t familiar with King Lear story, but I didn’t buy the original play like last time because I assumed Dunbar will contain a summarized account of King Lear. However, it didn’t, and I had to […]

Young Once by Patrick Modiano

In 2014 Patrick Modiano who is called “Marcel Proust of our time” won the Nobel Prize in Literature “for the art of memory with which he has evoked the most ungraspable human destinies and uncovered the life-world of the Occupation.” He was a well-known writer in France at the time, but he was not popular […]

The Fires of Autumn by Irène Némirovsky

In 1914 when WWI is declared, Bernard Jacquelain is only a young boy of seventeen. He is full of patriotism, and in the naive belief that the war would end in three months he voluntarily joins the war to fight for the honor of France. But three months turn into four years, and when Bernard […]

A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman

A Horse Walks into a Bar is a clever novel, but reading it was a tiring experience. Dovaleh G is a veteran standup comedian who takes the stage at a comedy club in the small Israeli town of Netanya. Avishai Lazar, Dov’s childhood friend, and former District Court Justice is also in the audience, and […]

All Our Worldly Goods by Irène Némirovsky

All Our Worldly Goods is a story of love; love that comes in many forms. It begins with the romance between Pierre and Agnes, who were next door neighbors growing up in the provincial town of Saint-Elme in France. Their love and commitment to each other get tested very early on, as Pierre’s industrious, tyrannical […]

The Dogs and the Wolves by Irène Némirovsky

The Dogs and the Wolves is the story of two distantly related Jewish families: the Sinners. They live in a Ukranian city where the poor, ‘unsavory’ Jews lived in the ghetto while the wealthy Jews lived on top of a hill in “the realm of the blessed.” With Ada’s father working as a broker, Ada’s […]

Jezebel by Irène Némirovsky

I’m falling behind my Irène Némirovsky year-long project. I’ve been crazy busy these days (more about it later), and I couldn’t read Jezebel which was supposed to be my June read. Hopefully, I’ll have time to read another Némirovsky this month, so I can be back on track with my project! In Jezebel, we see […]

Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age by Bohumil Hrabal

The novella Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age is written as a single (unfinished) sentence! Long sentences that run for pages are not my usual cup of tea. I still remember how daunting it was to read Gabriel García Márquez’s (he is one of my favorite authors) The Autumn Of The Patriarch. And that […]