Elizabeth Gaskell, North and South (1854)


REVIEW: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware



“People don’t change,” Nina said bitterly. “They just get more punctilious about hiding their true selves.”

Ruth Ware, In a Dark, Dark Wood (2015)

Nora hasn’t seen Clare since she was sixteen-years-old. Now, she’s a twenty-six year old crime writer living in London. Out of the blue she’s invited to Clare’s hen weekend at a house deep in the woods but not her wedding. She’s torn between reconnecting with her childhood friend and leaving the past behind her. Despite the ten years of silence she feels obligated to the friend who helped her through a painful break-up and with Clare’s intense maid of honour pressuring her to respond, she caves and decides to go. Continue reading “REVIEW: In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware”

MISC: Spring Cleaning

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DSC_1419I’m not one to follow trends, which is probably why I’ve decided to spring clean in July instead of in the spring. I’m also a hoarder by nature, so if I don’t set aside three or four days a year to sort through the things I’ve collected I can run out of room pretty quickly. I started on my chest of drawers today- it’s looking a lot less like a magpie’s nest now that I have put some things away. But, the big change today is my blog.

I’ve been blogging on WordPress since January without really ever changing anything. So in line with my spring cleaning activities I thought I would spruce it up a bit and change the layout. I’ve also added About and Review pages so you can get to know me and find my reviews a little easier (and see what reviews I’m planning in the future?).

What do you think?

BOOKISH FINDS: Poetic Potential



Poetry can seem intimidating. It does to me, and even though I’ve dipped my toe in poetic waters there’s still things I don’t understand. There are some poems I love and just as many that I don’t but I think it’s important to at least try it because once you find a poet you love it’s a whole different experience. Here are four different poetry collections I’ve enjoyed and what I’ve learned from them as a budding poet: Continue reading “BOOKISH FINDS: Poetic Potential”

REVIEW: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell



“Sometimes writing is running downhill, your fingers jerking behind you on the keyboard the way your legs do when they can’t quite keep up with gravity.”

Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl (2013)

Fangirl is this month’s book for the #GGbookclub

Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl was such a nostalgic read for me. It’s the story of identical twins Cath and Wren who look the same but are completely different. When their mother left home they handled her absence in entirely different ways. Cath escaped into fiction while Wren hid herself among other people. Both share a love of Simon Snow, a magical book series that is soon to release its final instalment. Over the years, the girls have contributed to the books active fanfiction community, and as they leave to start college, Cath is writing her biggest fic yet, Carry On which has thousands of online readers. College tests their relationship with each other, with their father and the people around them. Perhaps for Cath the biggest challenge of all is compromising between fanfiction and real life. Continue reading “REVIEW: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell”

READING PLACES: Calderstones Mansion Park

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Calderstones Mansion Park is a very special place, particularly for book-lovers and literary enthusiasts. Not only does it have woodland walks, picturesque ponds and a comerant I tried to befriend (he wasn’t having any of it) but it is also the home of The The Reader , a charity that aims to help those who need it most through shared reading groups. There are plenty of quite corners in the grounds to hide away with the next big read but there is also an on-site cafe to refresh the avid reader and The Reader also hold shared reading groups at the mansion and in the Storybarn for children.

REVIEW: A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby



“Hard is trying to rebuild yourself, piece by piece, with no instruction book, and no clue as to where all the important bits are supposed to go.”

Nick Hornby, A Long Way Down (2005)

In Nick Hornby’s A Long Way Down four individuals meet under unusual circumstances. Its New Year’s Eve when Martin, a shamed TV host, Jess, a teenage delinquent, Maureen, a guilt-ridden single mother and JJ, a failed American musician, find themselves at the top of a tower block in London all considering the same question: whether to end their lives or not. In spite of this they couldn’t be more different, but having unintentionally interrupted each other’s plans they agree to meet again in a few weeks’ time to reassess the situation. Their shared experience starts an unconventional friendship. Continue reading “REVIEW: A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby”