Home – what does it mean to you?

This post was suggested by The Writing Reader’s prompt #1753, the first line of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca. Last night I dreamed I was back in Urishay, a small community of farms and cottages in the hills above the Golden Valley, close to the Black Mountains that mark the border between England and Wales. I was a babe in arms when I first arrived there with my mother and grandmother. It was to be my home for the next 14 years. Our cottage had thick walls of local stone. A stream ran in a deep ravine with two waterfalls behind … Continue reading Home – what does it mean to you?

A Baker’s Dozen of Great Stories

Quintet: Five Tales With a Twist by Jennifer Young If there is a common thread linking these five stories it is that each involves a central character unable to let go of the past. The Homecoming sees a young man returning to the family home a few years after the end of World War One. A touching exploration of guilt, cowardice and sibling rivalry in a wealthy Scottish family. Pandora’s Box features a woman who is afraid to move on from a failed relationship – until she is reminded that what was left when Pandora opened her mythical box. In … Continue reading A Baker’s Dozen of Great Stories

More than a tiny bit marvelous

A Tiny Bit Marvelous by Dawn French My rating: 4 of 5 stars Comedy must be one of the hardest forms of writing to get right. You would not think so, given the number of successful situation comedies on television or the number of comedians of either gender able to attract vast audiences. The difficulty as I perceive it, is that in order to make something seem funny, it has to be exaggerated. But not too much, just enough to highlight the inappropriateness of some ordinary behavioural trait, without going so far as to make it seem ridiculous or hurtful. … Continue reading More than a tiny bit marvelous

Affirming the power of love

Into the Night Sky by Caroline Finnerty My rating: 4 of 5 stars The events in this book are told from the differing points of view of three main characters. I found it confusing in the early part of the book not knowing how these three strands were going to be drawn together. Of course, this is a clever part of the author’s strategy – the reader sticks with it in order to find out. The gradual drawing together of the strands draws the reader in so that by the final third of the book I found it impossible to … Continue reading Affirming the power of love