I enjoy fiction that gives me an insight into lives different to my own, while illuminating a universal aspect of the human condition. In my writing, I hope to do something similar for my readers. I knew I could do the former in my current WIP – although wasn’t sure it would interest others until an extremely useful one-to-one with an experienced industry professional – but doubted my character’s situation was relatable.
I started this blog in 2013 to share my reflections on reading, writing and psychology, along with my journey to become a published novelist. I soon graduated to about twenty book reviews a month and a weekly 99-word story. Ten years later, I've transferred my writing / publication updates to my new website but will continue here with occasional reviews and flash fiction pieces, and maybe the odd personal post.
I’m sharing my thoughts on two historical novels I’ve read recently, both featuring young women struggling to survive against the odds. The first is set in England in the 1660s, the second in Italy a century earlier.
October is Black History Month in Europe and the focus this year is on women. So I’m pleased to share my reviews of recent reads of novels by talented Black women writers which illuminate the lives of Black women in mid nineteenth century America. The first interweaves the narrative of another atrocity in which Britain was complicit: the Irish famine. The second shows how far women will go to salvage some control of their fertility.
We can’t get enough of the Brontës, can we? Whether it’s rereading the classic stories or rewriting them or delving into the lives of the authors, the sisters never seem to go out of fashion. So here are two recent reads inspired by them and their books. The first is a contemporary rewrite of Charlotte’s Jane Eyre, while the second is historical fiction with a particular focus on Emily, the author of Wuthering Heights.
Coming-of-age against a backdrop of oppression: Best of Friends by Kamila Shamsie & Fox Fires by Wyl Menmuir
Two recent reeds that made my 2023 favourites list, tentatively linked by being partly set in countries emerging from oppressive political regimes. The first was more straightforward than the second, but both made me think.
August is women in translation month, a time when readers prioritise books by women in translation – yes, it does what it says on the tin! – and I share the qualifying books I’ve read over the last twelve months. This year’s dozen represents nine languages (two up from last year) – Bosnian, Catalan, Danish, French, German, Hungarian, Icelandic, Portuguese, Spanish – and six publishers (Bloomsbury, Charco Press, Europa editions x3, Maclehose Press x 2, Peirene Press x 3, Quercus).
Here I share one new review, summaries and links to reviews I’ve published over the last twelve months, plus mentions of three I didn’t get round to reviewing.
There must be more than six degrees of separation between a boy who attends his oxen in rural Thailand and a contemporary social media influencer in the USA. But the farmer could be one steppingstone between them and the writer a link from the other end. The tour guide could be the bridge in the middle because they might need to shit in the woods. What am I on about? The answer is in these five mini reviews.
Two novels about a difficult patch in a long marriage, complicated by difficult relationships with the couples’ offspring. The first is the best book I’ve read so far this year. The second, by a more famous author, doesn’t come anywhere near.
Here are reviews of two different types of English political novel. The first is contemporary and addresses how political events impact on an ordinary London family. The second is a historical novel that gets right to the heart of one of the most turbulent periods of British history.
When I blog about boundaries, I’m usually berating chaotic fictional therapists. Not today. These three intriguing novels are about the liminal space between plant and human; reality and fantasy; and sanity and scapegoating within the political sphere. My short reviews should help you decide whether to cross the threshold.
Overburdened: The Plimsoll Line, Starling Days, Cat and the Dreamer, Unsettled Ground & Sorrow and Bliss
Five recent reads about characters facing life challenges that are almost too much to bear: bereavement; chronic illness; relationship crises and more. See what you think.
entertaining fiction about identity, mental health and social justice
Anne Goodwin's books on Goodreads
Sugar and Snails
ratings: 52 (avg rating 4.21)
ratings: 60 (avg rating 3.17)
ratings: 9 (avg rating 4.56)
GUD: Greatest Uncommon Denominator, Issue 4
ratings: 9 (avg rating 4.44)
The Best of Fiction on the Web
ratings: 3 (avg rating 4.67)
Annecdotal is where real life brushes up against the fictional.
Annecdotist is the blogging persona of Anne Goodwin:
slug-slayer, tramper of moors,
author of three fiction books.
LATEST POSTS HERE
I don't post to a schedule, but average around ten reviews a month (see here for an alphabetical list),
some linked to a weekly flash fiction, plus posts on my WIPs and published books.
Your comments are welcome any time any where.
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