The Beekeeper of Aleppo is Christy Lefteri’s second novel, drawing on the stories of displacement and devastation with which she came into contact as a volunteer at a refugee centre in Athens. Herself the daughter of two Turkish refugees, Lefteri has an uncanny familiarity with themes of loss, nostalgia and exile – as well as a sensitivity to the ways in which the deeply personal element of these stories may be lost to sensationalised reports of faceless brutality. Her writing is in many ways a response to those senseless media portrayals and crisis imagery that can cause further damage to a population already vulnerable to extreme violence and prejudice…
The Split is an ambitious novel, not unlike a lot of Bolton’s other work. One of the things I enjoy most about her writing is that she never seems content to provide her readers with “just another thriller”. She explores territories and topics atypical to the genre, particularly in her standalone books, leaning into the curious and the unusual rather than shying away from it. Her protagonists are not the seasoned detectives or private investigators one might expect to populate the world of the fictional crime; they are herpetologists, nuns, true-crime authors, and – in this case – glaciologists.
Even if Sarah Lotz wasn’t one of my favourite authors, I would’ve found it difficult to talk myself out of buying her latest novel. I first fell in love with her writing in The Three – a twisty horror novel that mimics the style of “found footage” films like The Blair Witch Project. I impulse-bought The Four and The White Road without looking further than her name on the covers, and wasn’t disappointed with either. But when I found Missing Person just before the pandemic hit, I knew I was in trouble of losing touch with reality for a day or two. This one was going to need all my attention.
Thank you to Netgalley and Perch Press for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Unflappable is a wild ride – literally. In this road-trip-meets-nature-conservation tale, Luna Burke is on a mission to reunite a kidnapped Bald Eagle with its mate and smuggle them both to Canada before her psychotic billionaire husband and his various armed forces can catch her.
Lowen Ashleigh is a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin when she accepts the job offer of a lifetime. Jeremy Crawford, husband of bestselling author Verity Crawford, has hired Lowen to complete the remaining books in a successful series his injured wife is unable to finish. Lowen arrives at the Crawford home, readyContinue reading “Review: ‘Verity’ by Colleen Hoover”
Vienna, 1914. Lucius is a twenty-two-year-old medical student when World War I explodes across Europe. Enraptured by romantic tales of battlefield surgery, he enlists, expecting a position at a well-organized field hospital. But when he arrives, at a commandeered church tucked away high in a remote valley of the Carpathian Mountains, he finds a freezingContinue reading “Review: ‘The Winter Soldier’ by Daniel Mason”
Lilliet Berne is a sensation of the Paris Opera, a legendary soprano with every accolade except an original role, every singer’s chance at immortality. When one is finally offered to her, she realizes with alarm that the libretto is based on a hidden piece of her past. Only four could have betrayed her: one isContinue reading “Review: ‘The Queen of the Night’ by Alexander Chee”
Effia and Esi: two sisters with two very different destinies. One sold into slavery; one a slave trader’s wife. The consequences of their fate reverberate through the generations that follow: from the Gold Coast of Africa to the plantations of Mississippi; from the missionary schools of Ghana to the dive bars of Harlem. Spanning continentsContinue reading “Review: ‘Homegoing’ by Yaa Gyasi”
Published to international critical and popular acclaim, this intensely romantic yet stunningly realistic novel spans three generations and the unimaginable gulf between the First World War and the present. As the young Englishman Stephen Wraysford passes through a tempestuous love affair with Isabelle Azaire in France and enters the dark, surreal world beneath the trenchesContinue reading “Review: ‘Birdsong’ by Sebastian Faulks”
In the latest masterpiece by Emma Donoghue, bestselling author of Room, an English nurse brought to a small Irish village to observe what appears to be a miracle-a girl said to have survived without food for months-soon finds herself fighting to save the child’s life. Tourists flock to the cabin of eleven-year-old Anna O’Donnell, whoContinue reading “Review: ‘The Wonder’ by Emma Donoghue”