Review: Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal

Unmarriageable Sobiah KamalPride and Prejudice in Pakistan. Who can resist that tag line?

Soniah Kamal has moved Jane Austen’s most famous romance to a brand new setting. The Bennets are now the Binat family living in Pakistan in the early 2000s.

Unmarriageable sticks closely to the original plot: Five impoverished sisters are under pressure to find husbands.

Like the Bennets in the original novel, the Binats are hanging onto their privileged status by their fingernails. Conned out of money by unscrupulous relatives, Mrs Binat is determined to marry her daughters to wealthy men.   Continue reading “Review: Unmarriageable by Soniah Kamal”

Review: Little by Edward Carey

Little by Edward CareyThis gorgeously grotesque book features body parts of all shapes and sizes. Go out and pick up a copy today. Just don’t read it while you’re eating.

Little fictionalises the life of Madam Tussaud. Born in the eighteenth century, this famous woman narrowly escaped the guillotine in France before touring Britain with a macabre set of death masks taken from the Revolution’s victims. Continue reading “Review: Little by Edward Carey”

Review: The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin

The Immortalists by Chloe BenjaminThere’s something unsettling about books that make you stare mortality in the face. After I finished The Immortalists I sat down and – for the first time ever – made a bucket list. Even if I never learn to create a soufflé or walk the Pennine Way, it gave me back the sense of control that this story rips away. Continue reading “Review: The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin”

Review: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony DoerrEver since The Book Thief made me sob on the bus, I’ve avoided reading novels about World War Two on public transport. So, when I decided to take All the Light We Cannot See on a train, I knew there was a high chance I’d need tissues.

In the end, I stayed dry-eyed but it was a close run thing. Anthony Doerr’s beautifully written story focuses on two teenagers in occupied Europe; a French girl who supports the resistance and a young Nazi radio operator. In their own ways, they’re both victims of the war. Continue reading “Review: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr”

Review: Milkman by Anna Burns

Milkman by Anna BurnsI’m much too weedy to climb an actual mountain, so Milkman became my Everest. Sometimes it was slow going and exhausting, occasionally I needed a restorative cup of tea, but every second was an amazing experience.

It starts with one of the most attention-grabbing sentences I’ve ever read: “The day Somebody McSomebody put a gun to my breast and called me a cat and threatened to shoot me was the same day the milkman died.”

From that point, I was gripped. Continue reading “Review: Milkman by Anna Burns”