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Sarah Waters, at this stage, must be the accepted queen of Victorian Gothic lesbian melodrama; not, I imagine, that there is much competition for this ...more
Aug 2005
Jun 05, 2007
The Last of the Wine
The Last of the Wine, although set in the ancient Greek world, like the Fire from Heaven trilogy, it's a very different work. Even though the three wo ...more
Jun 2005
Jun 05, 2007
How Many Miles To Babylon?
For such a brief book, How Many Miles to Babylon is a work of startling delicacy and power. Set in the dying days of the Irish Ascendancy just before ...more
Jan 2002
Apr 27, 2008
A Companion to Wolves (Iskryne World, #1)
This is pretty much every slash fanfic cliché ever, all written into one cracktastic book, complete with telepathic wolves and gay Vikings. I think it ...more
Sep 2008
Sep 19, 2008
The Song of Achilles
I'm of two minds about this one. There were some very nicely written parts, but I thought the prose and pacing could be inconsistent. For some reason, ...more
Jan 20, 2014
Jan 16, 2014
Death by Silver
A very enjoyable murder mystery set in an alternate Victorian London, where metaphysics (or magic, to you and me) is a respectable profession and Ned ...more
Jan 07, 2014
Jan 03, 2014
Memoirs of Hadrian
I adored this book, really and truly. Yourcenar’s prose, even in translation, is a triumph. The novel takes the form of a letter written by Hadrian to ...more
May 2005
Jun 05, 2007
Murder and Mendelssohn: Phryne Fisher's Murder Mysteries 20 (Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries)
Another entertaining installment in the Phryne Fisher series. This time, she's called on both to solve the murder of obnoxious conductor Hedley Tregen ...more
Jan 09, 2014
Jan 08, 2014
Moab is My Washpot
Meandering, witty, defensive, wildly self-indulgent, honest, conceited and very entertaining, reading Moab is my Washpot is an experience which I must ...more
Jul 2008
Jul 17, 2008
As Meat Loves Salt
This is one of the books I point to when people look for examples of how historical fiction can be done well: meticulously researched, it has all the ...more
Jan 2005
Oct 16, 2008
This is a fictionalised account of the life of Hild, the seventh-century Anglo-Saxon aristocrat who would one day become St Hilda of Whitby. With only ...more
Feb 09, 2014
Jan 13, 2014
At Swim, Two Boys
By rights, this should be a pretty terrible novel. O'Neill takes all the clichés of McCourt-esque Irish fiction—nationalism, abusive priests and Engli ...more
Feb 20, 2011
Jan 28, 2011
The Ghost Road (Regeneration, #3)
I saw the ending coming, which perhaps made this a little less gripping than the first two books in the trilogy. There is a certain sense of inevitabi ...more
Apr 2007
Jun 04, 2007
Truth in the Dark
Terrible. I started this book because it was recommended to me as a m/m retelling of the story of Cupid and Psyche, which is one of my favourite Greek ...more
Apr 26, 2012
Apr 26, 2012
Bonds of Earth
Bonds of Earth is a quick and enjoyable read, one which I gulped down over the course of a five hour long car trip. It tells the story of two men, bot ...more
Mar 25, 2012
Mar 24, 2012
Half a Crown (Small Change, #3)
The last book in the Small Change trilogy, Half a Crown takes place in the 1960s, in an alternate Europe where fascism and terror hold sway. I found t ...more
Oct 19, 2009
Oct 19, 2009
Held for Ransom (Heatherfield)
A fast-paced, light read. DJ Lanning lives in a tiny, quiet town in rural Illinois, where the only job he can scrounge up is part-time in the local ga ...more
Nov 28, 2014
Nov 27, 2014
Ha'penny (Small Change, #2)
A solid but unremarkable sequel to Farthing, Ha'penny suffers somewhat from middle-book-in-a-trilogy syndrome. Between that, the constraints of the hi ...more
Oct 04, 2009
Sep 28, 2009
The Empty Family
As is often the case with a collection of short stories, I really enjoyed some of The Empty Family and others I didn't. Tóibín is at his best with the ...more
May 02, 2014
Apr 03, 2014
Miss Timmins' School for Girls
Currimbhoy needs to work on her pacing and the subtlety of her plotting a little, but for a debut novel this was really surprisingly good. She has a t ...more
Apr 19, 2011
Apr 08, 2011
Dress Your Family In Corduroy And Denim
I've never read any Sedaris before, though I've heard much about him, and since this was the only work of his that the library had in stock, it seemed ...more
Apr 05, 2009
Apr 01, 2009
Frost Fair
This is essentially professional slash fiction, set in London in 1814 during a winter so cold that the Thames freezes, allowing traders to set up stal ...more
May 27, 2011
Jun 21, 2011
Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit
"Going back after a long time will make you mad, because the people you left behind do not like to think of you changed, will treat you as they always ...more
May 2008
May 25, 2008
Regeneration (Regeneration #1)
Trin got this as a present for me, telling me no more than that I should read it because I would love it. It's kind of scary how well she knows my tas ...more
Feb 2006
Jun 05, 2007
The Eye in the Door
The second book in the 'Regeneration' trilogy, 'The Eye in the Door' is just as impressive a book as the first installment, if not more so. Barker's u ...more
Apr 2007
Jun 04, 2007
The Praise Singer
A fictionalised account of the life of the poet Simonides, and his observations of the fall of the Peisistratids, The Praise Singer is a vivid, solid ...more
Nov 12, 2008
Nov 08, 2008
The Color Purple
Walker has an incredibly strong voice—a bold and vernacular style which gives a real sense of immediacy to The Colour Purple, and great power to her d ...more
May 08, 2009
May 02, 2009
Close Range
I greatly admire Proulx's ability to create spare, clear sentences that are nonetheless incredibly evocative: a landscape painter in prose, the parts ...more
Jan 2004
Jul 05, 2008
Earthly Joys
Probably the best of Philippa Gregory's that I've read; she seemed to put more thought and effort into her characterisation here than she did with he ...more
Jan 2004
Jul 04, 2008
The Devil in Amber (Lucifer Box, #2)
Fun period pastiche of half a hundred things—from the pulp novels of the 20s and 30s, to James Bond, to the Da Vinci Code—which doesn't have quite the ...more
Oct 2008
Oct 01, 2008
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