Author Archives: susan

UNOFFICIAL BRITAIN

We have lived for over seventy years in a world of motorways, roundabouts, high-rises, cooling towers, malls and pylons. They are part of a century that is already way behind us, slipping quickly into history. The structures that we think … Continue reading

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THE GARDEN AGAINST TIME

I was hanging out for the release of this book. I love Olivia Laing’s writing, I love gardens and gardening, I’d read the reviews (poetry and literature and history and digging holes and watching the green spikes of unexpected bulbs, … Continue reading

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NEUROTRIBES

Neurotribes is a journey through the history of autism, and I’m sorry to say that some of that history is almost incomprehensibly cruel. Like the Nazi policy turning long-care institutions for the care of disabled children into death factories – … Continue reading

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CATRIN IN WALES

The ‘Career Novels for Girls’ were listed on the back cover of this book, Catrin in Wales, which is actually almost an anti-career book. As you will see. Our young heroine, 18-year-old Catrin, is restless after completing her secretarial studies. … Continue reading

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BOOKS FOR GIRLS

No, I haven’t read any of the (late 1950s) Bodley Head Career Novels for Girls. But if I had, I would have had a rewarding career in physiotherapy!

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THE OTTERBURY INCIDENT

Begin at the beginning, go to the end, and there stop – that’s what Rickie, our English master, told me when it was settled that I should write the story. It sounds simple enough. But what was the beginning? Haven’t … Continue reading

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THE GATE OF ANGELS

It’s exciting to discover a new writer. I knew the nameĀ  – Penelope Fitzgerald – and I’d seen the film of one of her books, the 2017 The Bookshop starring Emily Mortimer and Bill Nighy. It was melancholy and in … Continue reading

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HARRIET AND THE CHERRY PIE

They don’t make ’em like this any more… I certainly can’t see Harriet and Cherry Pie being published today. Which doesn’t mean it’s bad, just different. In many ways, Harriet and the Cherry Pie was typical of many of the … Continue reading

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FOE

My book club meets in members’ homes from 7.30 in the evening, and to myself I call it the “Wine and Cheese” group. Last night I was the host. There was indeed wine and cheeseĀ  – three cheeses, two wines, … Continue reading

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STOCKING UP FOR WINTER

Stocking up for winter reading. I feel it’s time for a snuggle into children’s literature from the past, and this little selection from the Friends of Castlemaine Library should do the trick, spanning as it does a whole century, from … Continue reading

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