‘The Rice Paper Diaries’ by Francesca Rhydderch

I can’t recommend this beautifully-written novel highly enough. Francesca Rhydderch barely puts a foot wrong as she tells an extraordinary story. That story is compelling in itself concerned as it is with the experiences of Elsa, a Welsh woman living in wartime Hong Kong when the Japanese invade. It plays out the life-changing effects of interment, … More ‘The Rice Paper Diaries’ by Francesca Rhydderch

‘A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing’ by Eimear McBride

To read this novel is to experience something remarkable and rare although profoundly discomfiting and emotionally draining. ‘Experienced’ is the apt word because Eimear McBride’s stated intention was to try to immerse the reader in the mind and emotions of her central character, a disturbed young woman whose life is dominated by the effects of … More ‘A Girl Is A Half-formed Thing’ by Eimear McBride

Flannery O’Connor

The fiction of Flannery O’Connor is entirely new to me, but I was tempted by the samples I read and the truly beautiful Folio Society edition which was published recently. I  certainly wasn’t disappointed. She depicts brutal events happening to (mostly) unpleasant people, events that are often violent and sometimes bizarre. I’ve long been aware of … More Flannery O’Connor