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Dance Move by Wendy Erskine, a short story collection

Book Review – Dance Move by Wendy Erskine

Book review of Dance Move by Wendy Erskine, a collection of short stories that brings to life a broad and varied cast of characters, each trying to move forwards in their lives. Binding these stories together is the profound impact that moments in our past can have, either shaping how our lives have progressed or simply resurfacing unexpectedly in our present, eliciting deep emotions and impacting decisions in our present.

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Book Review – Wunderland by Caitríona Lally

Wunderland by Caitríona Lally is a wonderfully conjured portrait of two siblings, each with their own quirks and each struggling with life in their own way. Roy has been swiftly and quietly exiled to Germany, after some rumoured scandal back home in Ireland, to work in Hamburg’s miniature model railway world. Gert, one of his…

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Book Review – Intimacies by Lucy Caldwell

Intimacies by Lucy Caldwell is a short story collection exploring the experiences of young women trying to make their way in this world. The cover design by Jack Smyth now seems particularly apt. These are particular women, yet these could be any woman; the stories detail experiences which are often both personal and, at their…

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Book Review – Of Sunshine and Bedbugs by Isaac Babel

Of Sunshine and Bedbugs: Essential Stories by Isaac Babel is a newly curated collection of stories by Russian author Isaac Babel (1894 – 1940), translated into English by Boris Dralyuk, that draws from previous collections of his stories also translated by Dralyuk. This collection opens with a new and enlightening foreword by Dralyuk, as well…

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Book Review – The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak

The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak is a beautiful and captivating novel about love and loss, identity and displacement, devastation and renewal. At once heartbreaking and hopeful, the story spans several points in time across almost half a century, taking us from war-torn Cyprus of the 1970’s to London of the late 2010s.…

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Book Review – Fight Night by Miriam Toews

Fight Night by Miriam Toews is an exuberant and compelling story about three generations of women, living together in a house in Toronto which is loud, chaotic and full of cursing but, at its heart, brimming with love.  Our nine-year-old narrator Swiv lives with pregnant Mom and elderly Grandma. When Swiv is expelled from school…

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20 Books of Summer ’22

The Challenge 20 Books of Summer is an annual online reading challenge hosted by Cathy Brown of 746books.com, whereby you select a list of 20 books (a great way to make a dent in that ever-growing TBR pile) that you will read, and review, within the time frame (June 1 – September 1 2022). This…

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Book Review – Actress by Anne Enright

Actress by Anne Enright is a beautifully conjured portrait of the life of Katherine O’Dell, fictional star of the stage and screen, as told by her daughter Norah. As Norah is coming to terms with the more difficult later years of her mother’s life, and is approached by a student looking to tell Katherine’s story…

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Book Review – Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney is a story of intertwining and shifting friendships and relationships, infatuation, self-discovery, and learning to navigate unexpected emotions. College students Frances and Bobbi, now friends but once in a relationship, meet charismatic journalist and photographer Melissa, who becomes interested in their spoken word performances, and begins inviting them to…

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Book Review – A Crooked Tree by Una Mannion

When 12-year-old Ellen Gallagher and her mother get into a heated argument on the drive home one night, along a dark and desolate road, a snap decision made by the mother is to have consequences that will reverberate, through their own family and their little community, for the rest of that summer. A Crooked Tree…

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