Page 4 of our reviews

The Prodigal Son by Ry Cooder

Reviewed by Paul Barr

Legendary guitarist and American roots music interpreter Ry Cooder is back, firing on all cylinders. After a six-year break this is one of his best efforts ever. His previous topical albums, Pull Up

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Pastoral Fables: Works for cor anglais and piano

Reviewed by Kate Rockstrom

Many people wouldn’t be able to name a cor anglais (or English horn) if they tripped over it. And it’s understandable, really, when it’s only sometimes used in orchestral music and almost never as a …

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Bach & Telemann: Cantatas for Baritone

Reviewed by Alexandra Mathew

Despite his mature sixty-two years, Christoph Prégardien possesses a voice of youthful agility. I first heard Prégardien singing Schubert’s ‘Die Schöne Müllerin’ in his delectable tenor register, but…

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Flames by Robbie Arnott

Reviewed by Tom Davies

A cremated woman returns after her ashes are scattered in the bush. A water rat searches for the Cloud God. A wombat farmer who dreams of cormorants every night wakes to find his bed full of feathers…

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Staying by Jessie Cole

Reviewed by Annie Condon

When Jessie Cole is eleven years old, her father presents her with some baby mice he’s uncovered in their compost bin. She is determined to raise them, but one by one they die over the course of a we…

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You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld

Reviewed by Bronte Coates

Miscommunications and misunderstandings abound in this debut collection of stories from Curtis Sittenfeld (Prep, American Wife). Characters are thrown into tailspins by the return of undesirables fro…

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Chemistry by Weike Wang

Reviewed by Chris Somerville

Can a novel be propelled by indecisiveness? Chemistry, the debut novel by Weike Wang, makes a pretty strong case that it can. In the beginning, the un-named narrator is proposed to by her partner, a …

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The Learning Curves of Vanessa Partridge by Clare Strahan

Reviewed by Kushla Egan

It’s the start of the summer holidays, and the Partridges are off to the beach. But it’s a new kind of family holiday altogether – mum’s gone to Paris to ‘find herself’, abandoning siblings Vanessa a…

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The Madonna of the Mountains by Elise Valmorbida

Reviewed by Mark Rubbo

Set in the Veneto region of northern Italy, this novel about life in rural Italy between the 1920s and 50s is compulsively beautiful. It opens with a young woman, Maria, waiting for her father to bri…

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The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer

Reviewed by Nina Kenwood

Much like her previous novel The Interestings, I found Meg Wolitzer’s new book The Female Persuasion to be completely immersive. It is centered around two characters: Greer Kadetsky, who we meet as a…

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