Somebody Loves You

Mona Arshi’s novella Somebody Loves You is the story of Ruby, a young girl who chooses mutism as her coping mechanism to deal with the stresses of her suburban life. It opens with a quote from Fernando Pessoa’s The Book of Disquiet that speaks of feeling unnoticed and finding a way to preserve your inner self.

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A Pale View of Hills

A Pale View of Hills concerns Etsuko, a Japanese woman living in England, and the story of her past in Nagasaki. It opens with a visit from her daughter, Niki, and a conversation about her older daughter, Niki’s half-sister Keiko. This conversation triggers a memory for Etsuko of when she was pregnant with Keiko and developed a friendship with a strange, independent woman living in a run down old cottage with her young daughter.

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Six Degrees of Separation: From The Naked Chef to Like Water for Chocolate

We have an unusual starting book for this month’s Six Degrees of Separation. Our host Kathy at Books Are My Favourite And Best has chosen Jamie Oliver’s The Naked Chef as our chain inspiration. I haven’t read anyone else’s chains yet, as is my wont, but I’m looking forward to seeing how we all fare. If you’re unfamiliar with this literary meme, you can find the rules here.

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The Good Journal Issue One

June 2018 seems such a long time ago. So much has changed, so much hasn’t. The Good Journal launched in June 2018, to build on the success of The Good Immigrant and provide British writers of colour with a showcase for their work. Unlike The Good Immigrant, issue one of The Good Journal has a mix of fiction and nonfiction. The writers are a mix, as well, of established and never published before.

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Keeper

Keeper is the debut novel by Jessica Moor, published in 2020. It tells the story of Katie Straw, who works in a women’s refuge, and flicks between time periods labelled Then and Now. The plot explores violence against women and girls. Moor herself has worked in the violence against women and girls sector. Her experiences inform her narrative.

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Goldilocks

An interstellar event that happened 30 years in the past is at the centre of Laura Lam’s Goldilocks. The novel begins with one of the people who was involved in the event and its consequences finally deciding to break her silence.

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Animals

Animals charts the Mancunian misadventures of Laura and her flatmate Tyler, a pair of hedonists in their early thirties resisting hard the urge to grow up. I borrowed this from a friend who reads lots of books and constantly tempts me on her Instagram grid. I was not disappointed by this one.

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