The Testaments by Margaret Atwood Book Cover Image

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood: Searingly Plausible Dystopian

Rating: 5 stars

Category: Literary fiction, Dystopian

Synopsis: Lydia is one of the most feared Aunts in Gilead – but she’s about to go rogue with a secret manuscript.

Agnes and Daisy are both navigating the trials of coming-of-age – but with one raised inside and one outside Gilead, they might as well come from different planets.

These three unlikely women will be brought together to unite against the powerful Gileadean theocracy – challenging every single one of their assumptions about reality in the process. Continue reading The Testaments by Margaret Atwood: Searingly Plausible Dystopian

External link to The Scoop by Cat Walker Magazine Review: Vicariously Travel the World in Lockdown!

The Scoop by Cat Walker Magazine Review: Vicariously Travel the World in Lockdown!

The Scoop by Cat Walker is the first free review copy I’ve received since I started writing for the magazine – perks!!! I was so excited when I received it in the post and it turned out to be a fun, vivid, globe-trotting quarantine read. See below for the synopsis and a link to my book review for the City Girl Magazine… Continue reading The Scoop by Cat Walker Magazine Review: Vicariously Travel the World in Lockdown!

Girl Woman Other by Bernardine Evaristo Book Cover Image

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo: Because One Voice is Never Enough

Rating: 5 stars

Category: Literary fiction

Synopsis: InĀ Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo intertwines twelve lives – mostly black, British women. Their voices range from Hattie, an ancient mixed-race grandma struggling to keep her family farm and her pride along with it, to Amma, a black lesbian playwright whose radical work is showing at the National Theatre for the first time.

Through this lively spectrum of characters, Evaristo explores the nuances of identity, connection, and what it means to be proud of who you are. Continue reading Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo: Because One Voice is Never Enough

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides Book Cover Image

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides: Stand-Out Thriller that Deserves the Hype

Rating: 5 stars

Category: Thriller

Synopsis:

Theo has just started a new job at The Grove, a psychiatric unit for violent female criminals. Top of the list of new patients he must take on is Alicia. Alicia seemed to have it all – a flourishing career as an artist and a loving husband – until the night she shot him in the head. Since that fateful night, Alicia has refused to speak a word.

Disentangling Alicia’s past and the motives for her crime is not going to be easy – especially when The Grove is hiding secrets of its own. Continue reading The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides: Stand-Out Thriller that Deserves the Hype

The Perfection Detox by Petra Kolber Book Cover Image

The Perfection Detox by Petra Kolber: Motivational Guide for Breaking Free from Perfectionism

Rating: 3 stars

Category: Non-Fiction

Synopsis:

Petra Kolber began her career as a fitness instructor, but she soon began to notice the impact perfectionism was having on the women she coached. Now she runs perfection detox workshops built around her 21-step programme, which aims to support women in the journey towards embracing their flawed, imperfect, yet wonderfully unique selves.

The Perfection Detox is subtitled ‘Tame Your Inner Critic, Live Bravely, and Unleash Your Joy’ – I think we could all use some of that! Continue reading The Perfection Detox by Petra Kolber: Motivational Guide for Breaking Free from Perfectionism

Tess of the D'Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy Classics Book Cover Image

Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy: Classic Pastoral Tale with a Hint of Proto-Feminism

Rating: 3 stars

Category: Classics

Synopsis:

When John Durbeyfield learns that he is descended from a grand ancient lineage known as the d’Urbervilles, he sends his daughter Tess to their nearest relations in the hope of claiming kin and improving his family’s prospects. As the family sinks ever-further into poverty, she is only too aware of the keen urgency of her mission.

However, Tess knows nothing of the world outside her village, or the attention she draws by nature of her youth and beauty. Her experiences at the d’Urberville house will leave her torn between preserving secrecy – and her reputation – or risking honesty with the people she loves most. Continue reading Tess of the d’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy: Classic Pastoral Tale with a Hint of Proto-Feminism

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood Book Cover Image

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood: Character-Centric Historical Crime

Rating: 4 stars

Category: Historical fiction, crime, literary fiction

Format: Audiobook

Synopsis:

Alias Grace is based on the actual historical figure Grace Marks, who was convicted of murdering her employer and his housekeeper in 1843, alongside James McDermott. In this fictionalised account, it is uncertain whether she was acting under duress, out of fear for her own life, or if she was McDermott’s lover and co-conspirator.

The ambitious psychologist Dr Jordan is sent to the penitentiary to draw out the truth. However, with Grace claiming to have no memory of the incident, it will be difficult to separate the innocent, exploited young girl from the woman capable of unspeakable violence. Continue reading Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood: Character-Centric Historical Crime

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy Laurence Sterne Book Cover Image

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne: Ultimate Survival Guide (+ free chapter summary cheat sheet)

Should you ever be forced to read this book, or feel some masochistic urge to, I’ve included a free chapter-by-chapter summary sheet in solidarity with my fellow sufferers. Also, to lessen the pain slightly, this list of funny 1* Goodreads reviews will remind you that you’re not alone in this epic, frustrating endeavour. May the odds be ever in your favour. Continue reading The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne: Ultimate Survival Guide (+ free chapter summary cheat sheet)

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata Book Cover Image

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata: Offbeat Celebration of Non-Conformity

Rating: 3 stars

Category: Literary fiction

Synopsis:

Keiko Furukura has worked in the same convenience store for eighteen years. She feels at home in the store with its comforting daily rhythms, but those around her are pushing her to move on in her career, get married, have children. Tired of their interference, Keiko decides, at last, to give “normality” a shot…with disastrous consequences. Continue reading Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata: Offbeat Celebration of Non-Conformity

Eve Was Shamed by Helena Kennedy Book Cover Image

Eve Was Shamed by Helena Kennedy: Feminist Challenge to an Unjust Justice System

Rating: 4 stars

Category: Non-fiction

Synopsis:

Working as a high-level barrister at the very heart of the justice system, Helena Kennedy is well placed to examine whether this system is working for women. In her book, she draws on extensive experience working with women, both as victims and perpetrators of crime, and the challenges she has faced as one of the only QC female barristers.

Eve Was Shamed is a shocking revelation of how women remain discriminated against by the law. It is also a powerful call for change. Continue reading Eve Was Shamed by Helena Kennedy: Feminist Challenge to an Unjust Justice System