International Fiction reviews

Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier

‘Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again.’ It has been almost 20 years since I first read that opening line of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and it still gives me goosebumps. I remember reading t…

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

A radio play, a trilogy of five (or six, depending on whether you count Eoin Colfer’s 2009 contribution to the series), a TV series, multiple comic books and stage shows, a video game, a film, and no…

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The View Was Exhausting by Mikaella Clements & Onjuli Datta

Never mind the view, this whole misbegotten year has been exhausting. I don’t know about you but lockdown after lockdown has scrambled my hidden wiring into a truly cursed tangle of nerves, anxiety a…

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The Woman in the Purple Skirt by Natsuko Imamura & Lucy North

Not very much of consequence happens in this compelling but odd little novel – until it does, with a speed that knocks the reader off balance.

The story begins some way into our narrator’s obsession…

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Mrs March by Virginia Feito

We are completely alone with Mrs March; we are privy only to her view, her inner meanderings and her actions. Mrs March lives in an Uptown New York apartment with her son and her famous novelist husb…

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The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak

Ada is 16 years old and struggling to fit in. She’s lost her mother, Defne, and she can’t connect with her father, Kostas. He’s physically present but emotionally distant. One day at her school in No…

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The Liquid Land by Raphaela Edelbauer & Jen Calleja

Austrian writer Raphaela Edelbauer studied Sprachkunst – Language Art – in Vienna. Her disturbing metafiction, Das flüssige Land, was shortlisted for the German Book Prize in 2019 and this English tr…

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The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

‘It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York.’ A great opening line: nervous, brittle, crackling with heat, with sweat, …

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The Five Wounds by Kirstin Valdez Quade

Thirty-three-year-old Amadeo Padilla is unemployed, alcoholic and still living with his mother, Yolanda. One day, while Yolanda is away holidaying in Las Vegas, Amadeo comes home to find his pregnant…

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Hell of a Book by Jason Mott

Jason Mott’s first novel, The Returned, was a bestseller back in 2013: top of the charts, TV adaptation, the whole nine yards. In writing this new book, his fourth, Mott has drawn on memories of that…

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