International Fiction reviews

Stone Fruit by Lee Lai

Lee Lai’s Stone Fruit finds queer couple Bron and Ray at a turning point in their relationship, but the Tuesdays they spend looking after Ray’s six-year-old niece Nessie provide a cherished respite. …

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Second Place by Rachel Cusk

Rachel Cusk’s Outline trilogy challenged my understanding of the novel. It is so unlike what I expect from plot or character, that I now no longer read contemporary fiction the same way. As described…

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Lean Fall Stand by Jon McGregor

We start in peril. This is Antarctica; the weather can, and will, change without a moment’s notice. This is the first season working at the bottom of the earth for Thomas and Luke whereas Robert, or …

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Hummingbird Salamander by Jeff VanderMeer

‘Jane Smith’ is a security consultant wary of search engines, who mistrusts all her colleagues, has disabled her smart-fridge as a privacy precaution, and keeps an emergency ‘go-bag’ in her gym locke…

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China Room by Sunjeev Sahota

My son-in-law’s cousin was married a few months ago to a Punjabi man she’d never met. The marriage, by her own report, is going well. For some of us in the West, the idea of an arranged marriage seem…

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Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead

Great Circle is a brilliantly researched 20th-century epic set across Montana, Alaska, New Zealand and wartime London.

In 1914 Marian Graves and her twin brother Jamie are rescued as tiny babies fro…

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Whereabouts by Jhumpa Lahiri

Whereabouts is Jhumpa Lahiri’s first novel written in Italian – a remarkable feat considering she learnt the language later in life. It’s incredible then to discover that after the Italian publicatio…

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How to Kidnap the Rich by Rahul Raina

Working his way from being the son of an abusive chai seller to the ‘manager’ of one of India’s most beloved television game show hosts, Ramesh Kumar has done many things, including securing the top …

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Higher Ground by Anke Stellin

I have not been able to stop thinking about Anke Stelling’s brilliant novel Higher Ground. In trying to nail down just what made me want to pick it up again and again, I’d say the primary reason is t…

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Ariadne by Jennifer Saint

There’s been a flush of novels based around feminist retellings of ancient myths lately. The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker and A Thousand Ships by Natalie Haynes depicted the fall of Troy as see…

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