Buried Under Books

Solving mysteries in Victorian London, Gooseberry style.

Sometimes you see a book and just know you’re going to love it. That’s how I felt when I spotted ‘Gooseberry’ by Michael Gallagher on Librarything. The fact that I had yet to read either Wilkie Collins’ ‘The Moonstone’, which is the inspiration and touchstone for Gallagher’s novel, or anything previously written by Gallagher himself, […]

Burial Rites: waiting for death in 1820s Iceland

Being sentenced to die is tough. Waiting for the sentence to be carried out is even tougher. Hannah Kent’s intriguing debut novel ‘Burial Rites’ focuses on one woman’s experience of this difficult time. What’s it about? Our perceptions of people and the power of story-telling. Agnes Magnúsdóttir has been condemned to die for her part […]

The Siege: Leningrad’s worst winter?

Sometimes, our reading choices benefit from external guidance. I began reading ‘The Siege’ out of a vague sense of obligation; I ended it with a sense of gratitude – to the author, who made what could have been Yet Another War Story beautiful and genuinely moving, and to the acquaintance who insisted I would enjoy […]