Tag Archives: Contemporary Fiction

Singing in a not so minor key: Jennifer Ryan’s The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir.

Ryan, Jennifer. The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir. Broadway Books, 2017.  How best to describe this book? That is a hard question to answer. It’s a very good read, something of a page-turner and other clichés. But it’s much more than that because … Continue reading

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“A Mysterious Buzz.” Fatal Leaps in Bradley Somer’s Fishbowl.

Somer, Bradley. Fishbowl. St. Martin’s, 2015. This novel, (is it a novel?) is the not so tragic story of Ian the goldfish who takes a “perilous plunge from his bowl on the twenty-seventh floor balcony” (5) of an apartment building, … Continue reading

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Arriving Here. Ali Smith’s Winter

Smith, Ali. Winter. Penguin Canada, 2017. Opening Ali Smith’s Winter reveals quotations from Shakespeare, Barbara Hepworth, Theresa May, Muriel Spark, and Charles Dickens and surely gives advance notice that once again Smith will be leading her readers on a crazy paving … Continue reading

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Adjusting Focus: Joanna Trollope’s City of Friends

Trollope, Joanna. City of Friends. Mantle, 2017. ebook. City of Friends is Joanna Trollope’s twentieth novel. She is, I suppose, known primarily for what we might call “women’s fiction.” Certainly, many of her novels deal with what some readers may feel are … Continue reading

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Surviving the Past-Building the Future: Andrew Taylor’s The Ashes of London

Taylor, Andrew. The Ashes of London. Harper 2016. I’m fairly sure this is the first novel I’ve read by Andrew Taylor. I’m wondering how I’ve managed not to have met his work before. The Ashes of London is a who-dunnit … Continue reading

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Facing the Tide: Margaret Drabble’s The Dark Flood Rises

Drabble, Margaret. The Dark Flood Rises. Farrar, 2016. The title of Margaret Drabble’s latest novel comes from D. H. Lawrence’s “The Ship of Death,” and the work is prefaced by two lines from this poem and by Yeats’ “The Wheel” … Continue reading

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The Proper(?) Imposition of Words: Iain Pears’ An Instance of the Fingerpost

Pears, Iain. An Instance of the Fingerpost. [1997] Vintage, 1998. I can’t believe it’s twenty years since I first read this novel. Trite phrases about the passing of time come easily to mind. The novel pleased me then. It pleased … Continue reading

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