Eligible

Curtis Sittenfeld

Reviewed by Elsbeth Lindner

While the timeless perfection of the original creates the rock-solid foundation for ​Eligible, this modern version of the Bennet family story, set in Cincinnati, is a clever and diverting revision, substituting CrossFit training, IVF and reality television shows for Austen’s periodisms. Indeed one dimension of Eligible’s charm is in observing Sittenfeld’s choices of contemporary tropes, alongside what she chose to jettison in the cause of twenty-first century plausibility [Read more...] in Reviews

Sometimes a River Song

Avril Joy

Reviewed by Alison Coles

Aiyana, called after the Wild Plum in bloom at her birth, is one of three children of Floyd Weir, a white man with the menace and strength of will to dominate not just his entire family, but his community of river people. His character is the epitome of abuse and repression. His family fear him and can do little against his beatings of them, nor his sexual abuse of his daughter Hetty. So insidiously toxic is this fear that their need for safety overrides, temporarily, what it is their spirits want. They are imprisoned [Read more...] in Reviews

April Crime Round-Up

N.J. Cooper

Reviewed by N.J. Cooper

Hanington’s description [ in A Dying Breed] of Patrick’s terrified journey across Afghanistan and delivery into the hands of the notoriously brutal General Doushki is magnificent. Altogether this is a beautifully written account of myriad deceptions and mortal dangers in a country that has been at war with itself and the outside world for generations. And in the end there is gentleness here too. This is a terrific novel [Read more...] in Reviews

Miller's Valley

Anna Quindlen

Reviewed by Elsbeth Lindner

Quindlen brings such devotion, such insightful restraint and expert lucidity to her storytelling that the book is wholly engrossing. The threads of Mimi’s self-sacrificing struggle, set against the larger family’s tale and the valley dwellers’ efforts to resist the loss of their land to a dam project are sweetly dovetailed and the whole reading experience is as simply satisfying as a wedge of warm pie [Read more...] in Reviews

2016 Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction shortlist announced

Here are the six titles on the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction shortlist:
Cynthia Bond: Ruby
Anne Enright:The Green Road
Lisa McInerney: The Glorious Heresies
Elizabeth McKenzie: The Portable Veblen
Hannah Rothschild: The Improbability of Love
Hanya Yanagihara: A Little Life
The winner is announced on 8 June. Find reviews of Anne Enright and Elizabeth McKenzie by using the search engine on this page.

Armadillos

P.K. Lynch

Reviewed by Lesley Glaister

Brought up in poverty and misery, Aggie escapes her abusive father and sets off into the world with absolutely nothing, living on her wits and the protective instincts borne of her brutal background. The novel grips right from the start both because it’s a cracking story and because Aggie is such an immediately sympathetic character. Although she lies, steals and cheats almost as a reflex, it is impossible not to root for her as she hustles her way through real dangers [Read more...] in Reviews

Not Working

Lisa Owens

Reviewed by Zoë Fairbairns

Much of Not Working is written in short paragraphs with subject lines, like a series of highly readable emails. Lisa Owens is often witty and observant, particularly when writing about Claire’s relationship with her grandmother: the more Claire tries to do what she sees as her duty to be kind and helpful to the poor old thing, the more this particular old thing makes it clear that she is too busy living a full and active life to be patronized [Read more...] in Reviews