International Fiction reviews

10 Minutes 38 Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak

Reviewed by Julia Gorman

In the last few minutes of her life, Leila’s mind begins to recall some of the most important moments of her existence. Each moment is accompanied by the distinct memory of an exquisite food and the …

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This Brutal House by Niven Govinden

Reviewed by Gabrielle Williams

This Brutal House felt slightly dystopian before I realised I was immersed in the language of drag queens, vogue balls, runaways, and sex workers in New York City. It’s a novel peopled by characters …

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Frankissstein: A Love Story by Jeanette Winterson

Reviewed by George Delaney

Jeanette Winterson returns with another adaptation – this time with Mary Shelley’s much loved gothic horror novel, Frankenstein, drawn into a past-and present narrative about animation, artificial in…

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City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

Reviewed by Chris Gordon

This generous novel is not for fans of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love. Rather, it is for readers that want to be taken on a glorious, fictitious adventure through the 1940s and beyond. Set in Ne…

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Big Sky by Kate Atkinson

Reviewed by Eva Sandoval

‘It was a good day when you saved someone’s life. Even better when you didn’t die saving them.’ Lately, that’s the kind of day happening quite often in the life of private investigator Jackson Brodie…

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The Farm by Joanne Ramos

Reviewed by Kara Nicholson

Golden Oaks is a farm in upstate New York where women (mostly women of colour) are paid to act as ‘hosts’ (surrogates) carrying babies for wealthy clients. The story of The Farm is told by four diffe…

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The Doll Factory by Elizabeth Macneal

Reviewed by Julia Jackson

In this unusual, yet confidently written debut, Elizabeth Macneal transports the reader to London, 1851. The London of Charles Dickens, William Makepeace Thackeray and Wilkie Collins, where the finis…

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Cape May by Chip Cheek

Reviewed by Joanna Di Mattia

There’s an old-fashioned glamour to Chip Cheek’s impressive debut novel, Cape May, which I found very alluring. Set in 1957, in the seaside New Jersey town that gives the book its title, Cheek introd…

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Attraction by Ruby Porter

Reviewed by Chris Somerville

‘My earliest memories don’t come in images, but in thoughts,’ says the unnamed narrator early on in Attraction, the debut novel from New Zealand writer Ruby Porter, and it reads as an almost anti-man…

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Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan

Reviewed by Mark Rubbo

In Machines Like Me, Ian McEwan imagines a world in the past that is also the future. Britain has lost the Falklands War and driverless cars are the norm. Alan Turing, the great scientist, is also st…

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