Category: Commercial FIction Reviews

A review of Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah

Winter Garden is a novel with many layers. Hannah uses a fanciful fairy tale as the link between a mother and her daughters—this is the key that will unlock the secrets that have been hiding in Nina and Meredith’s mother’s past for decades.

A review of Being Light by Helen Smith

Without a doubt, Smith is a master storyteller. A novel with this jig-saw structure couldn’t possibly work without skill. To make such absurdities as fly-away castles and alien abductions so utterly believable is a testament to Smith’s talent. In less experienced hands this story would have been a farce.

A review of A Stranger Like You by Elizabeth Brundage

Layered over and between each other, these passages of inner thoughts, often told in present tense, second person, lend kaleidoscopic views to the story, hopping back and forth through time and focusing on the unique angle seen by each character.

A review of Best Bet by Laura Pedersen

Pedersen revisits a character who has many of the same insecurities and dilemmas as the rest of us. Hallie is in that awkward, post-college stage—trying to cope with the challenges and responsibilities of adulthood as best she can, while admitting that she’s not ready for any of it!

A review of Our Kind of Traitor by John le Carré

Our Kind of Traitor is pretty good as a thriller, mind: the characterisation and suspense are terrific; le Carre can undoubtedly spin a good yarn. There’s even a Hitchcockian/John Buchan-style adventure vibe to it: Perry and Gail, two unlikely operatives, pitched against sinister forces.

A review of the moon, the snow by Nan Weizenbaum

At this point I really must comment on Weizenbaum’s prose: it’s excellent. So, too, is the parallel drawn between the frigid landscape and Aurora’s emotional white-out. Despite the fact that Weizenbaum must have spent hours agonising over every sentence the narrative is seamless. Almost every page has a gem.

A review of Take the Monkeys and Run by Karen Cantwell

A semi-finalist in the 2009 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award content, Take the Monkeys and Run obviously pleased a few readers. While this is no literary masterpiece, it is essentially well-written with engaging, often larger that life characters, and most importantly is laugh out loud funny.

A review of Look at Me Now by Thomas J. Hubschman

The book is rich with the New York City setting, from exhibitions at the Public Library and the Whitney museum, to the office blocks and cafes across Fifth Avenue, through the Upper West Side. Hubschman really knows these streets.

A review of The Last Will of Moira Leahy by Therese Walsh

I can honestly say that I’ve never had the experience of actually feeling as though this was happening as I read, as if there was much more left to discover within this story if I kept reading and peeling away more layers. Her prose is elegant, her plot simple yet complicated, and the twists and turns within the story keep the reader highly engaged as the events unfold, with a very unexpected ending.