Category Archives: Books

London belongs to me by Norman Collins (1945)

The problem with a Kindle is that all books appear wafer-thin. (I miss the physical aspect of real books: their weight, the way you can fan through paperbacks, make later-incomprehensible notes in the margins, remember which bookshop you bought it … Continue reading

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The Custom of the Country by Edith Wharton (1913)

I picked up this book again after watching Darling to look for parallels between Diana and Undine Spragg – Undine who starts in Apex City and intends to go higher. It is a fascinating book, particularly given that Undine is an … Continue reading

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The Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton (1947)

I really am going in for black and white England at present. This novel is set in 1943 in a Thameside town where Miss Roach, bombed out of London, now lives in a dreary boarding-house. It’s a dreadfully circumscribed existence: … Continue reading

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London

After a weekend spent in the fascinating hellhole between Euston, King’s Cross and Oxford Street, I am now heading home, expecting to arrive 5 hours late because of damaged overhead wires at Watford. I am not complaining: I’ve had an … Continue reading

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A Far Cry from Kensington by Muriel Spark (1988)

The novel is set in war-damaged London in 1954, narrated in retrospect by a fat young war widow, Mrs Hawkins. Over the course of the novel she ceases to be a widow or fat, but her strong moral sense remains … Continue reading

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The Brimstone Wedding by Barbara Vine (1995)

Ruth Rendell by another name. It was OK – it kept me turning the pages, and the quasi-parallel lives of two women in dull marriages and their lovers was cleverly done. A good sense of place: Norfolk/Suffolk borders this time. … Continue reading

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The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James (1881)

I had to read this book several years ago for a literature course and enjoyed it. This second reading increased my enjoyment; one of the good things about knowing the plot is that you can concentrate on the writing and … Continue reading

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