Category: Book Reviews (page 2 of 5)

Edenland | Wallace King

Edenland by Wallace KingPublished by Lake Union Publishing

Edenland is the evocative title of an evocative novel set in the early days of the US Civil War. Its story plunges us into the Great Dismal Swamp that straddles Virginia and North Carolina, and never quite allows us to escape the treacherous waters that threaten to engulf its protagonists.

The Great Dismal and other swamps were places where runaway slaves could hide from their pursuers. Harriet Beecher Stowe’s second novel, after Uncle Tom’s Cabin, was Dred: A Tale of the Great Dismal Swamp (1856). Thus, the literary and historical sources of Edenland flow across the years in currents swift, deep and wide.

Continue reading

Anna Karenina | Leo Tolstoy

Tolstoy, Anna KareninaPublished by Alma Classics

Translated by Kyril Zinovieff and Jenny Hughes

This is a wonderful new translation of Tolstoy’s great novel that should enthrall a new generation of readers. It is beautifully presented by Alma Classics, and includes an interesting preface and translators’ note, informative notes to the text and useful extra material on Tolstoy’s life and works. Continue reading

The Arrival of Missives | Aliya Whiteley

Aliya Whiteley, The Arrival of MissivesPublished by Unsung Stories

Aliya Whiteley’s short novel begins with the sentence ‘I cannot sleep’ and ends with a stirring declaration of intent. In the hundred or so intervening pages we follow the development of Shirley Fearn, a schoolgirl who nurses a love for the teacher at her village school, the appropriately named Mr Tiller, who has been horrifically wounded in the First World War, recently ended (‘He isn’t a real man, of course, not after that injury’, says a village gossip). Shirley’s relationship with Mr Tiller, the exact nature of his injury and what it portends, and her own growth into awareness form the backbone of the novel, which is set in an isolated English rural community. Continue reading

He Runs the Moon | Wendy Brandmark

He Runs the MoonPublished by Holland Park Press

Themes of identity and belonging disturb the calm surface of Wendy Brandmark’s collection of short stories, which are set in Denver, New York and Boston in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Many of the stories concern characters who have been displaced geographically and emotionally: young or old, successful or unsuccessful, their lives have slipped their moorings. For some, it is because they have left part of themselves behind in the Old World, where memories of fear and suffering coexist with recollections of family and personal authenticity. For others – particularly the young – it is because they have moved to a different city and found or lost friends or lovers. Continue reading

Diaboliad & Notes on a Cuff | Mikhail Bulgakov

Bulgakov: Diaboliad and Notes on a CuffPublished by Alma Classics

These two handsome and distinctive paperbacks form part of a series showcasing the work of Russian Master Mikhail Bulgakov. Some of the stories in Notes on a Cuff appear in English for the first time, so this is a real treat for Bulgakovians. In addition, both books include valuable textual apparatus: photographs (Mikhail was quite the dandy), notes and a concluding section on the life and work of Bulgakov. Continue reading

Older posts Newer posts