Ambitious and Astonishing: Homegoing

Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing is hugely ambitious in every way a book can be – it tackles the history of the slave trade, the story stretches across 400 years, it alternates its setting between two continents and has a different central character for each chapter. Given this scale of ambition, the book doesn’t always hit its mark, however it is a powerful, haunting read that will stay with me for years.

A Woman’s Place?: The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka

Earlier this year I went to a book talk in which Clare Wright was part of the panel. I tried for the best part of an hour not to like her – she was hugely articulate, funny, intelligent and attractive. [Gahhhh!] I couldn’t sustain any genuine dislike though, she was just too darn charismatic. I resolved then to read her award-winning account of the Eureka Rebellion:  The Forgotten Rebels of Eureka. It’s a tome, but the most entertaining tome I’ve read in ages.

Finding the truth in unlikely places: The Truthseeker

Heidi Catherine has done it again! The Truthseeker, her second book in The Soulweaver series, continues to explore the realm of kindred spirits and how love can endure, and even blossom over time. From the opening chapter The Truthseeker, I was captivated by the relatable characters, the hugely imaginative settings and the pivotal notion that love can transcend time and place.

In my chat with Heidi, we talk about the toils of creative writing, how it feels to kill off your characters and what it’s like to have “made it” as an author.

Heart breaking and heart warming: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

When a very good friend in Glasgow texted me especially but urgently to recommend a book, I took note. “This needs to be on your shortlist”, Susan wrote, “I’m half way through. Great book… sad and hilarious”. Susan was right: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman is beautifully sad and touchingly hilarious. It’s also compelling and heartwarming. What’s more, it works brilliantly as an audiobook.