‘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

‘Do Miners Read Dickens?’ by Hywel Francis and Siân Williams

This evocative photograph gives you a good idea of what ‘Do Miners Read Dickens?’ by Hywel Francis and Siân Williams is all about. It’s a celebratory coffee-table volume to mark the 40th anniversary of the South Wales Miners’ Library which is part of Swansea University. But in doing that it also tells the story of … More ‘Do Miners Read Dickens?’ by Hywel Francis and Siân Williams

‘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