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Literary Fiction


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Literary Fiction

Strange Flowers – Donal Ryan

on
11 September 2020

Incomparable

The anticipation is thrilling when you start a new Donal Ryan book, and it finishes with a mix of satisfaction and longing – this form continues with his latest novel. Strange Flowers is a beautifully written family drama that treats us to a cast of characters that take the story through…


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Fantasy Literary Fiction

A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom – John Boyne

on
18 August 2020

Searching

A Traveller at the Gates of Wisdom is a story of human history brimming with mythical vibrancy as we are invited to explore the world through a nonlinear lens. The challenge is to see the progress of a man’s life and his experiences from birth to an elderly grandfather over…


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Literary Fiction

The Phone Box at the Edge of the World – Laura Imai Messina

on
12 July 2020

Rebuilding

A beautifully written story that flows through ravaged loss, desolation, resilience, hope, and the promise of a future with love and peace. The Phone Box at the End of the World by Laura Imai Messina is a book that gently enriches the soul and beats with a loving serenity.

The harrowing aftermath…


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Contemporary Fiction Literary Fiction Womens Fiction

The Weight of Love – Hilary Fannin

on
3 July 2020

This is a first novel that doesn’t read like a first novel. The author is clearly an accomplished writer, a journalist and playwright in Ireland, and now a novelist. The prose of this novel captivates the reader from beginning to end. It is not simply the skilled use of…


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Literary Fiction

Rebecca – Daphne du Maurier

on
3 July 2020

“It wouldn’t make for sanity would it, living with the devil.”― Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca

From the moment I began this enigmatic story, I felt as if I were a naughty houseguest who had slipped into a closed room to peek at someone’s diary. It was wicked and forbidden, so of…


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Humour Literary Fiction

The Master and Margarita – Mikhail Bulgakov

on
20 June 2020

“The devil went down to Georgia Moscow, he was looking for a soul to steal.”—Primus

Phew! I needed a margarita after finishing The Master and Margarita! What a magnificent, turbulent read!

This extravagant Russian allegory is an adult Alice in Wonderland, bursting at the seams with mischief, darkness and rambunctiousness. The ghosts of Faust…


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Literary Fiction

The Sense of an Ending – Julian Barnes

on
8 June 2020

Disposition

Julian Barnes’ writing in this short novel speaks loudly in an often quiet reflective allegory of memory and loss. Overtly philosophical, Tony Webster, tells of his youth as a schoolboy, with two old friends Alex and Colin, and the new kid, Adrian Finn. How their ideological sense of the…


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Literary Fiction

The House of the Spirits – Isabel Allende

on
5 June 2020

“In almost every family there’s a fool or a crazy person.”—Isabel Allende

The House of the Spirits is set in the capital of an unnamed Latin American country during the twentieth century, and that is where I first met the del Valles.

Patriarch, Severo del Valle, has lofty political aspirations, but his…


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Literary Fiction

Shadow of the Hunter – Su Tong

on
3 June 2020

Distracting

I was intrigued with the title Shadow of the Hunter and its reference to an old Chinese tale by Chuang-Tzu regarding the mantis stalking the cicada, unaware of the oriole stalking him. Chuang-Tzu also indicates that he was illegally hunting the songbird with a cross-bow and unaware that the forester was…


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Historical Fiction Literary Fiction

Hamnet – Maggie O’Farrell

on
23 May 2020

I came to reading this book as someone who is not a Shakespeare aficionado. I have over the years seen various productions of Shakespeare plays, some wonderful, and some not so much so. I have never held a season’s subscription to a local Shakespeare company, but I am an…

Peter Donnelly
Ireland

Founder of The Reading Desk, supporting readers, authors, publishers and book industry. Top Reviewer on Amazon, Goodreads, and NetGalley peter@thereadingdesk.com

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