Tag Archives: writer

After Such Kindness by Gaynor Arnold

DATE FINISHED: June 14th, 2012 

RATED: *** (3.5)

SYNOPSIS:  Margaret is recently married to a good man who – so far – has been understanding of her reluctance to fulfil her wifely duties. Margaret discovers a long-forgotten childhood journal and she suddenly realises that a whole chunk of her childhood memories are missing. The journal takes her back to a delightful summer where she was entertained by the young Rev James Jameson, a friend and colleague of her father’s at Oxford. How could those pleasant days have led to such unpleasant adult nightmares? Margaret is determined to dig out the truth…

THOUGHTS:  Arnold has based this novel, categorically, upon the relationship between Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), and his child-muse Alice Liddell. Read more of this post


Just a few words on paper

“Tell the stories. Tell them to us.  We want to know all the ways you’re still like us, and all the ways you’ve changed. Talk to us. We’re from a different place and time…”

“I’m not lying to you,” she said, shaking her head. “I really can’t do it.”

“You can and you must,” they snapped. “Those stories belong to us. It doesn’t matter what language they’re in, or what they’re about; they belong to us. And we gave them to you without looking at them first. So now it’s time to see what we’ve done.” 

After a long moment, the harlequin returned to himself and began to speak reasonably.  They weren’t asking for very much, were they? he asked. Just a few words on paper, anything she liked, anything that came to mind, nothing that anyone else need ever read. It didn’t even have to be good.

He honestly expected her to believe that she could make a bad offering and her ancestors wouldn’t mind. 

from Mr Fox by Helen Oyeyemi

Brother Grimm by Craig Russell



SYNOPSIS:  A thriller/murder mystery set in Germany, about a serial killer who poses his victims in tableaux from Grimm’s fairy tales, e.g. Hansel & Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, Rapunzel etc

THOUGHTS: Read more of this post

The Illusionist by Jennifer Johnston

DATE FINISHED: May 2nd, 2011

RATED: **** (4.5)

SYNOPSIS:  Martyn lives a double life: he works as an illusionist, and at home he builds the appearance of domestic bliss. But what is his past? Where does he come from? Where is his family? Where does the money come from to support his life with Star? At first entranced by the enigma of his extravagance and arrogance, eventually Stella realises she is being crushed by his controlling ways and that their life, too, is an illusion. The novel begins with Martyn’s shocking death but continues with his wife and daughter struggling to integrate their opposing views of husband and father. There is one last illusion which it seems even Martyn cannot sustain beyond the grave.

THOUGHTS: Read more of this post