Publisher: Grove Press

#BookReview Manifesto by Bernardine Evaristo @PGCBooks @groveatlantic #Manifesto #BernardineEvaristo

#BookReview Manifesto by Bernardine Evaristo @PGCBooks @groveatlantic #Manifesto #BernardineEvaristo Title: Manifesto

Author: Bernardine Evaristo

Published by: Grove Press on Jan. 18, 2022

Genres: Nonfiction

Pages: 198

Format: ARC, Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

From the bestselling and Booker Prize-winning author of Girl, Woman, Other, Bernardine Evaristo’s memoir of her own life and writing, and her manifesto on unstoppability, creativity, and activism

Bernardine Evaristo’s 2019 Booker Prize win was a historic and revolutionary occasion, with Evaristo being the first Black woman and first Black British person ever to win the prize in its fifty-year history. Girl, Woman, Other was named a favorite book of the year by President Obama and Roxane Gay, was translated into thirty-five languages, and has now reached more than a million readers.

Evaristo’s astonishing nonfiction debut, Manifesto, is a vibrant and inspirational account of Evaristo’s life and career as she rebelled against the mainstream and fought over several decades to bring her creative work into the world. With her characteristic humor, Evaristo describes her childhood as one of eight siblings, with a Nigerian father and white Catholic mother, tells the story of how she helped set up Britain’s first Black women’s theatre company, remembers the queer relationships of her twenties, and recounts her determination to write books that were absent in the literary world around her. She provides a hugely powerful perspective to contemporary conversations around race, class, feminism, sexuality, and aging. She reminds us of how far we have come, and how far we still have to go. In Manifesto, Evaristo charts her theory of unstoppability, showing creative people how they too can visualize and find success in their work, ignoring the naysayers.

Both unconventional memoir and inspirational text, Manifesto is a unique reminder to us all to persist in doing work we believe in, even when we might feel overlooked or discounted. Evaristo shows us how we too can follow in her footsteps, from first vision, to insistent perseverance, to eventual triumph.


Review:

Honest, informative, and inspiring!

Manifesto is the insightful, intriguing story of Bernardine Evaristo’s personal and professional successes, hardships, relationships, struggles, and accomplishments as a mixed-raced author from South London.

The writing is genuine and perceptive. And the novel is an introspective, intriguing tale of one woman’s life from being a creative child and one of eight siblings to a strong, sexually fluid woman who has experienced fulfilment by being one of the founding members of Britain’s Theatre of Black Women, writing rewarding but not so popular novels of poetry, to ultimately winning one of the most prestigious literary awards in 2019, the Booker Prize, for her novel Girl, Woman, Other

Overall, Manifesto is such a forthright, captivating, absorbing tale by Evaristo that covers such an abundance of themes, that as a fellow woman, it was easy to appreciate and thoroughly enjoy it.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

               

 

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Bernardine Evaristo

Bernardine Evaristo is the Anglo-Nigerian award-winning author of several books of fiction and verse fiction that explore aspects of the African diaspora: past, present, real, imagined. Her novel Girl, Woman, Other won the Booker Prize in 2019. Her writing also spans short fiction, reviews, essays, drama and writing for BBC radio. She is Professor of Creative Writing at Brunel University, London, and Vice Chair of the Royal Society of Literature. She was made an MBE in 2009. As a literary activist for inclusion Bernardine has founded a number of successful initiatives, including Spread the Word writer development agency (1995-ongoing); the Complete Works mentoring scheme for poets of colour (2007-2017) and the Brunel International African Poetry Prize (2012-ongoing).

Photo courtesy of Author's Goodreads Page.

#BookReview Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan @CKeeganFiction @PGCBooks @groveatlantic #SmallThingsLikeThese #ClaireKeegan

#BookReview Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan @CKeeganFiction @PGCBooks @groveatlantic #SmallThingsLikeThese #ClaireKeegan Title: Small Things Like These

Author: Claire Keegan

Published by: Grove Press on Nov. 30, 2021

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 118

Format: Hardcover

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 9/10

It is 1985 in a small Irish town. During the weeks leading up to Christmas, Bill Furlong, a coal merchant and family man faces into his busiest season. Early one morning, while delivering an order to the local convent, Bill makes a discovery which forces him to confront both his past and the complicit silences of a town controlled by the church.

Already an international bestseller, Small Things Like These is a deeply affecting story of hope, quiet heroism, and empathy from one of our most critically lauded and iconic writers.


Review:

Astute, thought-provoking, and memorable!

Small Things Like These is a short but affecting story that takes you to County Wexford during Christmas 1985 and into the life of Bill Furlong, a coal and timber merchant and father of five daughters who, after discovering some whispered but often ignored rumours to be true about the local convent-run laundry and the girls who are housed within, must decide whether to continue to turn a blind eye about the atrocities that may be occurring there or risk his stable, comfortable life and do what he knows in his heart of hearts is the right thing to do.

The prose is sophisticated and descriptive. The characters are gentle, kind, and sympathetic. And the plot is an exceptionally moving tale about family, morality, community, relationship dynamics, and the harrowing history of Magdalen laundries in Ireland.

Overall, Small Things Like These is a powerful, pensive, well-written story by Keegan where the space between the words resonates as loudly as the words themselves and is a beautiful reminder, especially at this time of year, that caring is truly the root of morality.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

           

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Claire Keegan

Claire Keegan was raised on a farm in Ireland. Her stories have won numerous awards and are translated into more than twenty languages. Antarctica won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and was chosen as a Los Angeles Times Book of the Year. Walk the Blue Fields won the Edge Hill Prize for the finest collection of stories published in the British Isles. Foster, after winning the Davy Byrnes Award — then the world’s richest prize for a story — was recently selected by The Times UK as one of the top 50 novels to be published in the 21st Century. Her stories have been published in the New Yorker, Paris Review, Granta, and Best American Stories. Keegan now holds the Briena Staunton Fellowship at Pembroke College, Cambridge.

Photo courtesy of Grove Atlantic Website.

#BookReview Braised Pork by An Yu @groveatlantic @PGCBooks

#BookReview Braised Pork by An Yu @groveatlantic @PGCBooks Title: Braised Pork

Author: An Yu

Published by: Grove Press on Apr. 14, 2020

Genres: General Fiction

Pages: 240

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 7/10

One morning in autumn, Jia Jia walks into the bathroom of her Beijing apartment to find her husband – with whom she had been breakfasting barely an hour before – dead in the bathtub. Next to him a piece of paper unfolds like the wings of a butterfly, and on it is an image that Jia Jia can’t forget.

Profoundly troubled by what she has seen, even while she is abruptly released from a marriage that had constrained her, Jia Jia embarks on a journey to discover the truth of the sketch. Starting at her neighbourhood bar, with its brandy and vinyl, and fuelled by anger, bewilderment, curiosity and love, Jia Jia travels deep into her past in order to arrive at her future.

Braised Pork is a cinematic, often dreamlike evocation of nocturnal Beijing and the high plains of Tibet, and an exploration of myth-making, loss, and a world beyond words, which ultimately sees a young woman find a new and deeper sense of herself.


Review:

Unique, mesmerizing, and reflective!

Braised Pork is a short but mystifyingly lush tale about a young, vulnerable widow, Jia Jia whose life is irrevocably changed, upheaved, and somewhat freed when her husband suddenly dies and leaves behind a sketch of a “fish-man” figure.

The prose is elegant and expressive. The imagery is gritty and vivid. And the plot is a spiritual journey into the true meaning and importance of life, love, and death.

Braised Pork as a whole is a beautifully crafted tale that is perplexing, immersive, melancholic, and pensive, and yet when I finished the final page I was, unfortunately, left feeling a little flat and unfulfilled.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy of this story from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

       

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About An Yu

An Yu (安於) was born and raised in Beijing, and spent parts of her life studying and working in London, New York, and Paris. She received her M.F.A. from New York University. Her first novel, Braised Pork, was published by Harvill Secker in January 2020, Grove Atlantic in April 2020 (US), and forthcoming in six other languages worldwide.

She currently lives in Beijing.

Photograph courtesy of Author's Website.

#BookReview Clear My Name by Paula Daly @PaulaDalyAuthor @PGCBooks @groveatlantic

#BookReview Clear My Name by Paula Daly @PaulaDalyAuthor @PGCBooks @groveatlantic Title: Clear My Name

Author: Paula Daly

Published by: Grove Press on Sep. 20, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback, ARC

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

A rising star in domestic suspense broadens her canvas in a brilliant new thriller in which a woman convicted of murdering her husband’s lover waits to be exonerated by a female investigator battling her own dark past Paula Daly is widely acclaimed for her masterful plotting and thrilling page-turners. Now she delivers Clear My Name, a page-turning new thriller about an investigator, who in order to free her client, must confront secrets she has struggled a lifetime to hide.

When Carrie was accused of brutally murdering her husband’s lover, she denied it. She denied it again when they found her blood inside his house, again when they put her in front of a jury, and again when they sent her to prison. Now she’s three years into her fifteen-year sentence, gradually losing hope and separated from her pregnant daughter, but she is still maintaining her innocence. Tess is the only paid employee of Innocence UK, a charity that helps clear people wrongfully convicted of crimes, and which accepts Carrie’s case. But can she trust Carrie? Tess is no starry-eyed recent grad – her assumption is that they’re all lying.”

Meanwhile, Tess is also paired with Avril, a naive young investigator-in-training, with the hope that by mentoring her, she can eventually double the group’s investigative workload. But Tess unexpectedly bolts when she’s tipped off to a witness that could possibly prove Carrie didn’t commit the crime. While Tess and Avril work the case, re-interviewing witnesses and testing assumptions made at the time of the arrest, the tension ratchets up in both the case and Tess’s personal life.


Review:

Gripping, intense, and tricky!

In this latest novel by Daly, Clear My Name, Tess Gilroy chief investigator for Innocence UK heads back to her hometown of Morecambe, England where she finds herself not only investigating the possible wrongful conviction of Carrie Kamara in the stabbing of her husband’s mistress but also having to confront her own past that’s littered with secrets and heartbreak.

The prose is tight and direct. The characters are meticulous, troubled, and multilayered. And the plot is a compelling tale full of deduction, duplicity, manipulation, infidelity, obsession, anger, hatred, injustice, violence, and murder.

Overall, Clear My Name is a sophisticated, unnerving, gritty read that has just enough twists, suspense, in-depth character development, and forensic analysis to keep you intrigued from start to finish.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                          

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Paula Daly

Paula Daly is the acclaimed author of five novels. Her work has been sold in fifteen countries, shortlisted for CWA Gold Dagger Crime Novel of the Year award, and her books are currently being developed into the ITV drama - Deep Water - set to air in 2019. She was born in Lancashire and lives in the Lake District with her husband, three children, and whippet Skippy.

#BookReview The Burglar by Thomas Perry @TPerryauthor @groveatlantic @PGCBooks

#BookReview The Burglar by Thomas Perry @TPerryauthor @groveatlantic @PGCBooks Title: The Burglar

Author: Thomas Perry

Published by: Grove Press on Jan. 8, 2019

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 7/10

From Thomas Perry comes a new thriller about an unlikely burglar–a young woman in her 20s–who realizes she must solve a string of murders, or else become the next victim

Elle Stowell is a young woman with an unconventional profession: burglary. But Elle is no petty thief–with just the right combination of smarts, looks, and skills, she can easily stroll through ritzy Bel Air neighborhoods and pick out the perfect home for plucking the most valuable items. This is how Elle has always gotten by–she is good at it, and she thrives on the thrill. But after stumbling upon a grisly triple homicide while stealing from the home of a wealthy art dealer, Elle discovers that she is no longer the only one sneaking around. Somebody is searching for her.

As Elle realizes that her knowledge of the high-profile murder has made her a target, she races to solve the case before becoming the next casualty, using her breaking-and-entering skills to uncover the truth about exactly who the victims were and why someone might have wanted them dead. With high-stakes action and shocking revelations, The Burglar will keep readers on the edge of their seats as they barrel towards the heart-racing conclusion.


Review:

Fast, tight, and meticulous!

The Burglar is a sinister, unpredictable thriller that takes us into the life of Elle Stowell, a young thief who finds herself unexpectedly mixed up in a triple homicide when she chooses the wrong house to rob.

The writing is smooth and tense. The characters are inquisitive, meticulous, and tough. And the plot is a suspenseful tale of corruption, deception, betrayal, greed, violence, murder, and the art of burglary.

There is no doubt that Perry has an incredible knowledge into the intricacies of security and surveillance and can weave a sinister tale that’s dark and twisty. And even though I thought the storyline of The Burglar was clever and entertaining, I would have liked to connect with the protagonist just a tiny bit more.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

  

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy of this story in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Thomas Perry

Thomas Perry is the bestselling author of over twenty novels, including the critically acclaimed Jane Whitefield series, Forty Thieves, and The Butcher's Boy, which won the Edgar Award. He lives in Southern California.

 

#BookReview Open Your Eyes by Paula Daly @PaulaDalyAuthor @PGCBooks @groveatlantic

#BookReview Open Your Eyes by Paula Daly @PaulaDalyAuthor @PGCBooks @groveatlantic Title: Open Your Eyes

Author: Paula Daly

Published by: Grove Press on Oct. 9, 2018

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 304

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8/10

Jane Campbell avoids confrontation at any costs. Given the choice, she’ll always let her husband, Leon–a bestselling crime writer–take the lead, while she focuses on her two precious young children and her job as a creative writing teacher. After she receives another rejection for her novel, Leon urges Jane to put her hobby to rest. And why shouldn’t she, when through Jane’s rose-tinted glasses, they appear to have the perfect house and the perfect life?

But then Leon is brutally attacked in their driveway while their children wait quietly in the car, and suddenly, their perfect life becomes the stuff of nightmares. Who would commit such a hateful offense in broad daylight? With her husband in a coma, Jane must open her eyes to the problems in her life, as well as the secrets that have been kept from her. Although she might not like what she sees, if she’s committed to discovering who hurt her husband–and why–Jane must take matters into her own hands.

A surprising and gripping thriller of pride, ambition, and envy, Open Your Eyes is an unsettling whodunit about the illusions of a perfect marriage that confirms Paula Daly as a writer at the forefront of domestic suspense.


Review:

Addictive, edgy, and entertaining!

Open Your Eyes is a character-driven, domestic thrill ride that delves into all the deep, dark secrets people can keep even from those closest to them and raises the question how well do you really know anyone.

The prose is tight and gritty. The characters are troubled, resolute, and vulnerable. And the plot starts off with a bang and quickly unravels into an ominous tale full of suspicious personalities, lies, deception, desperation, familial drama, manipulation, violence, and jealousy.

Overall, Open Your Eyes is a relentless, eerie, complex tale that keeps you guessing right up until the very last page and reminds us that mothers will go to any length to uncover the truth and protect their children.

 

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                          

 

 

Thank you to Publishers Group Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Paula Daly

Paula Daly is the acclaimed author of five novels. Her work has been sold in fifteen countries, shortlisted for CWA Gold Dagger Crime Novel of the Year award, and her books are currently being developed into the ITV drama - Deep Water - set to air in 2019. She was born in Lancashire and lives in the Lake District with her husband, three children, and whippet Skippy.

#BookReview The Facts of Life and Death by Belinda Bauer @BelindaBauer @PGCBooks

#BookReview The Facts of Life and Death by Belinda Bauer @BelindaBauer @PGCBooks Title: The Facts of Life and Death

Author: Belinda Bauer

Published by: Grove Press on Apr. 11, 2017

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 366

Format: Paperback

Source: Publishers Group Canada

Book Rating: 8.5/10

‘Call your mother.’
‘What do I say?’
‘Say goodbye.’

This is how it begins.

Lone women terrorized and their helpless families forced to watch – in a sick game where only one player knows the rules. And when those rules change, the new game is Murder.

Living with her parents in the dank beach community of Limeburn, ten-year-old Ruby Trick has her own fears. Bullies on the school bus, the forest crowding her house into the sea, and the threat of divorce.

Helping her Daddy to catch the killer might be the key to keeping him close.

As long as the killer doesn’t catch her first…


Review:

Absorbing, gritty and exceptionally dark!

This is a compelling story set in North Devon, England and is told from the perspective of Ruby, an innocent 10-year-old girl who finds herself not only struggling with coming-of-age but with a family in turmoil and a village plagued by a serial killer.

The prose is direct and clear. The characterization is well done with a cast of characters that are troubled, raw and distinctive and a setting that is a character itself with its dreariness, history, rugged terrain and isolation.

This truly is an intelligent, atmospheric novel with a clever, meticulous plot filled with tension, danger, suspense, twists, intrigue and murder that delves into the murkiest corners of the human psyche and highlights how much rage and malice can actually exist in those you least expect.

 

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

 

 

Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

About Belinda Bauer

BELINDA BAUER is the award-winning author of seven previous novels that have been translated into twenty-one languages. She won the CWA Gold Dagger Award for Crime Novel of the Year forBlacklands, the Theakston's Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award forRubbernecker, and the CWA Dagger in the Library Award for outstanding body of work. Her previous novel, Snap, was longlisted for the Man Booker Prize. She lives in Wales.

 

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