Ambelin & Ezekiel Kwaymullina, Australia, Book lists, Book review, Books in translation, Catherine Steadman, Children/YA, crime/thriller, Daunt Books, Elisa Shua Dusapin, England, Fiction, Headline Review, Ireland, Jennifer Johnston, literary fiction, Penguin, Publisher, Setting, Simon & Schuster, South Korea

Four Quick Reviews: Elisa Shua Dusapin, Jennifer Johnston, Ambelin & Ezekiel Kwaymullina, and Catherine Steadman

As 2020 draws to a close, I’m keen to wrap-up all my reviews so that I’m not playing catch-up well into the new year. (I will do my books of the year post tomorrow.) So here are four quick reviews of books I have read recently. They are a good reflection of my eclectic reading… Continue reading Four Quick Reviews: Elisa Shua Dusapin, Jennifer Johnston, Ambelin & Ezekiel Kwaymullina, and Catherine Steadman

Author, Book lists, Jennifer Johnston

13 books by Jennifer Johnston

Today, January 12, marks Irish novelist and playwright Jennifer Johnston’s 90th birthday. Long-time followers of this blog will know she’s my favourite living writer, but she’s under-rated and little known outside of her native Ireland. Perhaps it doesn’t help that most of the covers of her novels are abysmally old-fashioned and somewhat dated so that… Continue reading 13 books by Jennifer Johnston

20 books of summer, 20 books of summer (2018), Author, Book review, Fiction, Headline Review, Ireland, Jennifer Johnston, literary fiction, Publisher, Setting

‘This is Not a Novel’ by Jennifer Johnston

Fiction – paperback; Headline Review; 224 pages; 2003. Thirty years ago, Imogen’s older brother went swimming in the sea off the Cork coast and was never seen again. Now, convinced that he may be still alive, she pieces together their family history and puts it down in a book, hoping Johnny, “somewhere in the world,… Continue reading ‘This is Not a Novel’ by Jennifer Johnston

Author, Book review, Fiction, general, Ireland, Jennifer Johnston, literary fiction, Setting, Tinder Press

‘A Sixpenny Song’ by Jennifer Johnston

Fiction – hardcover; Tinder Press; 192 pages; 2013. Review copy courtesy of the publisher. A new Jennifer Johnston novel is always something to celebrate in this household, so I was very much looking forward to the arrival of A Sixpenny Song, the author’s 18th novel, at the end of October. This short book, easily read… Continue reading ‘A Sixpenny Song’ by Jennifer Johnston

Author, Book review, Fiction, Headline Review, Ireland, Jennifer Johnston, literary fiction, Publisher, Setting

‘Shadowstory’ by Jennifer Johnston

Fiction – hardcover; Headline Review; 240 pages; 2011. Review copy courtesy of the publisher. One of several reoccurring themes in Jennifer Johnston‘s writing is that of the young Irish woman trying to find her place in the world. This kind of coming of age story is the essential focus of Shadowstory, her latest novel, which… Continue reading ‘Shadowstory’ by Jennifer Johnston

Author, Book review, Fiction, Headline Review, Ireland, Jennifer Johnston, literary fiction, Publisher, Setting

‘Fool’s Sanctuary’ by Jennifer Johnston

Fiction – paperback; Headline Review; 152 pages; 1999. For the past four years I’ve been slowly making my way through Jennifer Johnston‘s extensive back catalogue of novels. Fool’s Sanctuary, first published in 1987, is her eighth book — and my eleventh. There’s something quite comforting about entering JJ’s fictional world, and it has nothing to do… Continue reading ‘Fool’s Sanctuary’ by Jennifer Johnston

Author, Book review, Fiction, Headline Review, Jennifer Johnston, literary fiction, Northern Ireland, Publisher, Setting

‘Shadows on our Skin’ by Jennifer Johnston

Fiction – paperback; Headline Review; 224 pages; 2004. Jennifer Johnston is my favourite living writer. While I’m familiar with most of her hugely extensive back catalogue, I haven’t really touched her earlier work. I was eager to read Shadows on our Skin, first published in 1977, to see how it compared to her later novels. Not surprisingly,… Continue reading ‘Shadows on our Skin’ by Jennifer Johnston

Author, Book review, England, Fiction, Headline Review, Jennifer Johnston, literary fiction, Publisher, Setting

‘The Illusionist’ by Jennifer Johnston

Fiction – paperback; Headline Review; 288 pages; 2007. According to the O’Brien Pocket History of Irish Writers, Jennifer Johnston is “skilled in building up and maintaining atmosphere” — and that couldn’t be more true of The Illusionist. Initially the story appears to be a rather soft, gentle one, but there’s a fiercely dark heart beating… Continue reading ‘The Illusionist’ by Jennifer Johnston

Author, Book review, Fiction, Headline Review, Ireland, Jennifer Johnston, literary fiction, Publisher, Setting

‘Truth or Fiction’ by Jennifer Johnston

Fiction – hardcover; Headline Review; 160 pages; 2009. Review copy courtesy of the publisher. Jennifer Johnston does a nice line in slightly kooky characters, and her latest novel, to be published on November 16, is no exception. Desmond Fitzmaurice, one of two main characters in Truth or Fiction, is a doddery old writer who’s fallen… Continue reading ‘Truth or Fiction’ by Jennifer Johnston

Anchor Books, Author, Book review, Fiction, Ireland, Jennifer Johnston, literary fiction, Publisher, Setting

‘The Gates’ by Jennifer Johnston

Fiction – paperback; Headline Review; 167 pages; 1998. First published in 1973, The Gates is Jennifer Johnston‘s second novel, although at just 167 pages in length it feels more like a novella and can be easily consumed in one sitting. It has a very simple linear narrative in which Minnie McMahon, aged 16, returns home… Continue reading ‘The Gates’ by Jennifer Johnston