Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (1861)

I may have just finished my MA in Victorian Literature, but I'm quite unfamiliar with Charles Dickens's novels. However I had read A Tale of Two Cities (1859) and The Old Curiosity Shop (1840) before I started Great Expectations, so I knew I was in for a treat. I wouldn't consider myself a Dickens enthusiast … Continue reading Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (1861)

The Joys of Commercial Fiction

I am not sure of this title. After all, every book published is a commercial object. I can't really imagine Penguin, Hachette or Harper Collins publishing a book just for the sake of it, without wanting the book to sell well. It's normal, and I have no problem with that - I'm sure most writers … Continue reading The Joys of Commercial Fiction

Villette, Charlotte Brontë, 1853

When you start reading Villette, it is very hard to see what is so appealing about it. Lucy Snowe is so passive and odd, you actually wonder why she's the narrator and how this could become interesting. But then, you get caught up in her story and finish the book wondering what actually happened to you during your reading. I did not think the story of this novel was peculiarly gripping or rich, but when I first started to sum it up here, I realised that it was quite the opposite. There are so many things to say! So many things to be told! However, I would like to focus especially on the strength of Villette and how incredibly powerful this book is.

The Night Guest, Fiona McFarlane (2013)

'It is incredibly difficult to sum up The Night Guest and do it justice, without completely revealing the end. What I can say is that this is a wonderful little gem about ageing, love, and trust. It is quite rare that recent releases give me a lot of things to say about them, I tend to read them to relax and change my mind from my beloved lengthy Victorian tomes. However, Fiona McFarlane's debut is an accomplishment and it moved me beyond anything I could have ever expected. '