Category: Literary Fiction Reviews

A review of Swimming to Elba by Silvia Avallone

Silvia Avallone tells her story from multiple viewpoints, allowing us inside the hearts and minds of all of her main characters, most often Anna. By being non-judgmental and descriptive in presenting her characters, she allows us to share their hopes and feel their pain even while disapproving of their behaviour.

A review of Feydeau, First to Last by Georges Feydeau

To many, the plays will evoke the world of Fawlty Towers; and it should come as no surprise, therefore, to learn that John Cleese has often expressed his admiration for Feydeau. It is interesting in this regard to look at Les Paves de l’ours from 1896, a play wherein an upper-class bachelor employs a country bumpkin as a man-servant, believing him to be ‘a diamond in the rough’.

A review of Peace, Love and Khaki Socks by Kim Lock

The novel’s strength is the very personal journey the reader takes alongside Amy as she weighs up conventional First World medical procedures with the almost Cavewoman-style natural homebirthing. It is a suspenseful ride with her as she battles conventions, the expectations of others as well as a category three tropical cyclone to boot.

A review of The Book by Jessica Bell

The Book reads very quickly. This is not just because it’s only 154 pages of reasonably spaced text, but also because Bonnie’s voice drives the story along as we try to understand, from her perspective, the multiple relationships that surround her…

A review of Ascending Spiral by Bob Rich

Though the ultimate purpose of the book does appear to be didactic – global warming and impending environmental catastrophe are generally accepted within the mainstream scientific community as proven fact – and the parallels between Dr Lipkin and the author’s own studies are probably the subject of at least a few fascinating interviews, the story reads well as fiction, creating each world entirely so that the reader becomes engrossed in the historical time and place along with the protagonist.

A review of Time Will Tell by Donald Greig

Donald Greig, a singer, writer and lecturer in film studies and musicology, associated with the Tallis Scholars and the Orlando Consort, proves with this novel that talent in one artistic form often carries over to other forms. Time Will Tell is darkly humorous and rich with detail.

A review of Your House Is on Fire, Your Children All Gone by Stefan Kiesbye

Kiesbye’s writing is stark and matter of fact, which makes the children’s actions even more despicable—you don’t see them coming. The adults in the novel are very much secondary characters, which poses many questions. What values have the parents taught their children? Are the children doing these things just for attention?

A review of You, Fascinating You by Germaine Shames

Shames humanizes the unspeakable horrors faced by innocent people throughout World War II without romanticizing any of these events. Margit Wolf is sent to a concentration camp, a fortunate survivor among thousands who are not so lucky. While the novel is about a love story between a rising ballerina and established maestro, it is really Margit Wolf’s story that is told.

A review of Lola Bensky by Lily Brett

the interviews she conducted as a young journalist during the sixties. Reading the book you get the definite sensation that you’re experiencing a unique insight into rock stars like Hendrix, Cher, Mama Cass, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Pete Townsend and Mick Jagger.

A review of Curiosity Killed the Sphinx, and Other Stories by Katherine L. Holmes

Holmes likes to use language vividly and originally. Cars “crept to the curb on tire tiptoe”; a woman walks in a “toothache of time”. Holmes also uses patterns of imagery to convey her themes. In one of my favourite stories, “Nuts and Bolts”, a childfree couple choose not to spend a holiday with friends – the “same old bunch” with a third baby among them, but to stay in the city together.