Category Archives: Book Reviews

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves – Karen Joy Fowler

 POTENTIAL SPOILERS (THOUGH I PERSONALLY DON’T THINK THERE ARE ANY….)

we-are-all-completely-beside-ourselves-karen-jay-fowler

On this day, only 3 months ago, we celebrated the launch of Franny & Perks and already we have filled the blog with almost 20 book reviews, 8 bookish event round-ups, a few delicious recipes and even some recommendations on things to see in London (watch this page tomorrow as Franny’s heading to the dizzy heights of Duck & Waffle where she’ll report on her midnight skyscraper experience). So this seems like the right moment to launch our Man Booker 2014 Longlist Challenge. This summer, we will be bringing you our honest reviews of each of the Man Booker titles and will round it off with a special Man Booker longlist summary (for those who may not have found the time yet but want to look well-informed… we’ve been there) and also a shortlist prediction feature! It’s going to be a busy August but challenge accepted. Continue reading We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves – Karen Joy Fowler

Her – Harriet Lane

isbn9780297865070-detail

It has come to my attention that this blog has a distinct lack of psychological thrillers within its review pages. Her is a fantastic example of the genre, building the layers of suspense over a ground work of female jealousy and domestic minutiae in an engaging and tense read, leaving us guessing until the very end.

Two women living in one of London’s wealthier suburbs. One of them recognises the other immediately, while the second has no recollection of her new friend. The book flits between Nina and Emma’s POV on each chapter, giving us an entirely different depiction of the same events. Nina appears like a guardian angel to Emma, being a collected woman with a wealthier income and a respectable job as a painter. Emma’s life is a mess of enforced domesticity as she raises her two young children without hopes of ever going back to the television career she once loved. Nina, however, has her own reasons for appearing suddenly in Emma’s world, for motives that are slowly revealed to us as her immersion in Emma’s lonely existence begins to be total.

Continue reading Her – Harriet Lane

The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton

18047651

Picador are on fire and it seems like they can do no wrong. They are publishing the work of some of the finest contemporary literary writers of the year and with each new announcement, my wish list grows ever longer. We all know that I was crazy about Burial Rites (let alone Hannah Kent) and I am getting excited for the release of Station Eleven having contributed to the unbelievable hype that has surrounded it. But not only are these books intelligent, captivating and thought-provoking, they are also beautiful objects to own. If you check out some of their latest titles you’ll see that each one has been designed thoughtfully, creatively and with the end-user in mind.

But none more so than the cover for The Miniaturist.

Courtesy of @picadorbooks
Courtesy of @picadorbooks

Continue reading The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton

A Note on The Lemon Grove

51vUvvbXTYLOne of this summer’s most talked about publications, The Lemon Grove, has been called many things. Most of them revolve around the theme of ‘sexy’ ‘sultry’ ‘naughty’. Some of them are more to the tune of ‘WHERE IS THE MORALITY?!’

Continue reading A Note on The Lemon Grove

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair – Joël Dicker

Truth_About_Harry_Quebert-206x320

It’s been an incredibly busy couple of months, but, as all book lovers can attest, there is always time for reading. However, when I started hearing all the hype about The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affairin spite of my natural desire to read it as soon as possible, there was a moment of despair when I realised I was embarking on a 624 page epic. Don’t get me wrong – I love big books, and they’ve certainly had their time to shine recently what with the mighty Luminaries and Goldfinch – but sometimes that weighty hardback is the last thing you want to lug around, especially when you’re flying home to Guernsey with hand-luggage-only!

ANYWAY. Continue reading The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair – Joël Dicker

The Lowland – Jhumpa Lahiri

Today we’re offering the first Franny vs Perks review post. Although we’ve read many of the same books, The Lowland is the first to be subjected to our critical eyes. We hope that our double whammy of a post will encourage you to read a book that, although has not broken free of the numerous shortlists its been on, is undoubtedly a fantastic read.

90.Jhumpa-Lahiri-The-Lowland Continue reading The Lowland – Jhumpa Lahiri

A Tale for the Time Being – Ruth Ozeki

a-tale-for-the-time-being-by-ruth-ozeki-661-p

I am so excited for the 23rd of next month, when all the excitement of the venerated Man Booker will get under way once more and stir up all that delicious controversy it manages to elicit each year. And slowly, I am limping to the finish with these reviews of the 2013/2014 shortlist, soon to be completed with a Franny vs. Perks post on The Lowland.

A Tale for Time Being was no exception to the excellence I have been greeted with so far in this shortlist. It was also an incredibly emotional book to end my reading on. Obviously I don’t want to give an ending to a story away but suffice to say it was pretty emotionally devastating while being on the enjoyable side of genius. There is so much to say about Ruth Ozeki’s masterpiece that I hardly know there to start and I am aware I won’t be able to mention half the things I want to. Early on I should emphasise, you should read this book. Not everyone will love it but if it is your type of literary fiction, it’ll stay with you for a long time past the wonderful ending.

Continue reading A Tale for the Time Being – Ruth Ozeki