Category: Literary Fiction Reviews

A review of The End of Good Intentions by David Borofka

Set against the back drop of American culture and history from the 1970s, the age of politically progressive Protestantism, right up to contemporary times and the expansive hell right wing evangelicals want to make for us all. Letting readers draw their own conclusions, Borofka does this in deft strokes that never seem strident or extreme.

A review of An Unshared Secret and Other Stories by Ketaki Datta

In her latest book of short stories, An Unshared Secret, Ketaki Datta shows her skill with the form, creating a series of twenty short stories set primarily in Datta’s home country of India, mostly in or around Kolkata. The capital of West Bengal is so much a presence in these stories that it almost functions as a character itself, providing more than a backdrop.

A review of Blood from Stone

The collection is an eye opener, poems made in an environment of incarceration and punishment about life ‘Inside’. About jail, about being a prisoner and the fear and danger of prison life. Most of the poems are coruscating and angry and explore issues of life inside, of loss and anger, pleading for real justice and rehabilitation, often displaying a hard wisdom learnt at the hands of corrupt and cruel prison officers.

A review of Be Quiet About Love by Jason Beale

No sentimentality is encountered in Beale poems as he writes about life’s wounds and death. Be Quiet About Love demonstrates a philosophy of life that leans towards acceptance and resignation, often he expresses profound thoughts.

A review of Perfume by Patrick Süskind

Süskind’s dark taste in comedy and clever use of logic permeate every page. Jean-Baptiste’s skill as a perfumer making camouflage, shadowing and eventually murder all possible with a few drops of a home-made fragrance. Like all superhero films or books one fantasises of having said superpower and the fantastical, god-like things one could do with it.

New giveaway!

We have a copy of The China Shelf by Jennifer Maiden to give away!

To win, sign up for our Free Newsletter on the right-hand side of the site and enter via the newsletter. Winner will be chosen by the end of January from subscribers who enter via the newsletter. Good luck!

New giveaway!

We have a copy of Tandem by Andy Mozina to give away!

To win, sign up for our Free Newsletter on the right-hand side of the site and enter via the newsletter. Winner will be chosen by the end of December from subscribers who enter via the newsletter. Good luck!

A review of Thieves by Valerie Werder

Ostensibly Thieves is Valerie’s coming-of-age as she works through and try to escape the constraints of her upbringing and the world in which she lives. The story appears progress in more or less linear ways, however, there is a recursiveness that functions almost as a Möbius strip where time loops around itself and the endpoint of the work is not so much Valerie’s transition as the work itself. 

A review of The Girl Who Cried Diamonds & Other Stories by Rebecca Hirsch Garcia

But regardless of genre, these character-driven pieces explore uncomfortable truths and show how patriarchal power structures encourage violence against women, physical and psychological. Each story has new characters confronting different forms of abuse and betrayal. Two high schoolers dealing with body issues bully each other with a mix of fascination and revulsion.

A review of Rhododendrons by Sreetanwi Chakraborty

The novel has a splash of colours on the cover, drawn by the author herself, depicting Rhododendron flowers, from which the title of the book is derived. The plural of Rhodendron might be a pointer to sundry memories and characters that people the canvas, and in singular this would be just the protagonist. If we allow our imagination to stretch a bit, it might mean the protagonist and her dear ones, as all are colourful like the Rhododendrons.