Uprooted by Naomi Novik

Recently, I’ve been doing some research into fairytales for a writing project. Whilst I was searching for some more books to read in this genre, I stumbled across Uprooted and bought it, I must confess, mostly on the strength of its cover (and some of the reviews). I was looking forward to reading it but I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. As I was reading, I was reminded that I used to read a lot of this type of fantasy when I was a teenager but at some point I stopped doing so; I’ve definitely been prompted to dip back into this genre more regularly. Read more


Tess of the D’Urbervilles

Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy

Despite my love of Victorian literature, I had never actually read any of Thomas Hardy’s novels; some of his poems, yes, but never any prose. Until recently, I hadn’t seen a real need for me to explore his writing at all, but I’ve been slowly realising that, as someone who writes about books, I should probably have a better knowledge of his writing. So, on visiting a relative who allowed me to pick any book from her shelves to take away with me, I decided that now would be the time to get acquainted with Hardy; I chose Tess of the D’Urbervilles knowing absolutely nothing about it except that my sister had enjoyed the BBC series. In some ways I’m quite glad that I didn’t know anything about the narrative before I started reading as it meant I felt the full force of the twists and turns, however, despite several warnings, I was wholly unprepared for the unrelenting sadness.    Read more

Pride and Prejudice (Illyria, 2017)

Pride and Prejudice (Illyria, 2017)

During a recent visit to London with some friends, we discovered that the touring outdoor theatre company Illyria would be performing Pride and Prejudice in the grounds of Westminster Abbey whilst we were there. Illyria had brought this adaptation to our city earlier in the year, but we hadn’t been able to make it then; I’m so glad we were able to see it in London. It was a wonderful evening: a beautiful setting (and good weather) for a very funny adaptation of Austen’s novel. Read more