One Minute Book Review – The Muse by Jessie Burton

This dual narrative novel begins in London in 1967 with Odelle Bastien, a young woman from Trinidad who works in a shoe shop while nursing the dream of being a writer. When Odelle finds a new job as a typist at the Skelton Institute, an upmarket art gallery, she is encouraged in her ambitions by … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Muse by Jessie Burton

In My Garden – Fuchsia

The fuchsia is one of my favourite plants. They are most commonly grown in suburban gardens as small shrubs or in hanging baskets. The 'hardy fuchsia' (Fuchsia magellanica), though, can grow up to 3 metres in height in a frost-free climate. Most species of fuchsia are native to South America, but a few occur in … Continue reading In My Garden – Fuchsia

One Minute Book Review – Towers in the Mist by Elizabeth Goudge

This delightful novel covers a year in the life of the Leigh family, from the arrival on May Day 1565 of Faithful Crocker, a 14 year old orphaned vagabond, carrying his meagre possessions, a copy of Virgil and of Foxe's Book of Martyrs, and a burning desire to become a scholar, to the visit of … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Towers in the Mist by Elizabeth Goudge

The Dictionary of Slang; or, the Vulgar Words, Street Phrases, and “Fast” Expressions of High and Low Society.

I have a copy of delightfully titled The Dictionary of Slang; or, the Vulgar Words, Street Phrases, and “Fast” Expressions of High and Low Society. Many with their Etymology, and a Few with their History Traced which was published in London in 1867. This copy is the third edition of the book; the original was … Continue reading The Dictionary of Slang; or, the Vulgar Words, Street Phrases, and “Fast” Expressions of High and Low Society.

One Minute Book Review – The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova

The Swan Thieves is an intriguing story of art and obsession. Its starting point is the attack on a 19th century painting hanging in the National Gallery of Art in Washington. The attacker, Robert Oliver, is a brilliant painter suffering from a psychosis. He is hospitalized under the care of psychiatrist Andrew Marlow who is … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova

One Minute Book Review – The Marriage Certificate by Stephen Molyneux

The Marriage Certificate by Stephen Molyneux is definitely one for the genealogists. It opens with the discovery of a marriage certificate in an antiques centre by Peter Sefton, an amateur genealogist. Thinking that there is something vaguely inappropriate for such a personal memento to be on display, he buys it in the hope of perhaps … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – The Marriage Certificate by Stephen Molyneux

One Minute Book Review – Mothering Sunday – A Romance by Graham Swift

Traditionally Mothering Sunday is the fourth Sunday of Lent, a day when domestic servants were given the day off to visit their families. Jane Fairchild, the Niven family’s maid, is a foundling so has no mother to visit. This Mothering Sunday, the 30th of March 1924, is a light filled day that feels like summer … Continue reading One Minute Book Review – Mothering Sunday – A Romance by Graham Swift

Book Review: The Spy by Paul Coelho

This short novel by Paul Coelho begins with British reporter Henry Wales’ eyewitness account of the execution by firing squad on 15 October 1917 of Margaretha Zelle otherwise known as Mata Hari. Of a middle-class Dutch family, Margaretha was brought up by an uncle after her parents died. At school she was raped by her … Continue reading Book Review: The Spy by Paul Coelho