TRESPASSES – Louise Kennedy

“They were like a tag team, taking turns to fall apart.” Set in Ireland during “The Troubles,” Louise Kennedy’s Trespasses (Riverhead 2022) is a weeping wound of a novel about womanhood, love, and family with a violent backdrop of the politics that defined Northern Ireland in the early 1970s. Admittedly, it wasn’t on my radarContinue reading “TRESPASSES – Louise Kennedy”


“All she knew was that she was being borne away from something she loved more than anything else in the world, that the distance between them was increasing, with every step taken.” Maggie O’Farrell is an author who has been on my radar for a bit, but one I’ve never read until I decided toContinue reading “THE MARRIAGE PORTRAIT – Maggie O’Farrell”


“After all, gangland was a man’s world.That’s what they thought.But us women, well, we knew different.This is our story.” Oh, what promise the prologue to Beezy Marsh’s Queen of Thieves (William Morrow 2022 – Originally published in Britain by Orion Dash 2021) held.  Oh, what a roaring disappointment. The premise is great.  Inspired by aContinue reading “QUEEN OF THIEVES – Beezy Marsh”

THE HOUSE OF EVE – Sadeqa Johnson

Some of y’all may remember that Sadeqa Johnson’s Yellow Wife was one of my top reads of 2021. (If you haven’t read it yet, you really should.) Johnson’s follow-up novel, The House of Eve (Simon & Schuster 2023) is just as poignant.  The novel will be out 7 Feb 2023, and I highly recommend youContinue reading “THE HOUSE OF EVE – Sadeqa Johnson”


“On closer inspection it’s obvious that every single one of the apples is rotten, whether they’re brown and speckled with mould, or green-gold and riddled with holes.” October is the perfect month for a slow burning gothic, and Elizabeth Brooks’s The House in the Orchard (Tin House 2022) is a quick read that hits theContinue reading “THE HOUSE IN THE ORCHARD – Elizabeth Brooks”

BRONZE DRUM – Phong Nguyen

“Gather around, children of Chu Diên, and be brave.  For even to listen to the story of the Tru’ng Sisters is, in these troubled times, a dangerous act.” The bones of Phong Nguyen’s Bronze Drum (Grand Central Publishing 2022) were exhilarating; it was an easy BOTM pick for me.  Historical fiction, cloaked in myth andContinue reading “BRONZE DRUM – Phong Nguyen”


“Beatrice and I walked home in the snow, pulling the weight of my mother’s memories behind us.” “There is a limit to how much we can hold, and how much we can keep in this world. It’s not a good idea to cling to the things you can’t bear to lose. That’s how we break,Continue reading “WHEN WOMEN WERE DRAGONS – Kelly Barnhill”

BOOTH – Karen Joy Fowler

My third read of the 2022 Booker Prize longlist was Karen Joy Fowler’s Booth (Putnam 2022).  While Fowler is no stranger to the Booker Prize (she was shortlisted in 2014), this is my first novel by her.  While reviews are relatively mixed, I found it a fascinating, well researched and executed historical saga about theContinue reading “BOOTH – Karen Joy Fowler”


Signe Pike’s The Lost Queen (Touchstone 2018) is the first in a trilogy following Languoreth, twin of the man who’d inspire the legends of Merlin and forgotten queen of sixth-century Scotland.  The first of series opens when she is 10, just after the death of her mother and ends when she’s 32 and standing deadContinue reading “THE LOST QUEEN – Signe Pike”

WOMAN OF LIGHT – Kali Fajardo-Anstine

Kali Fajardo-Anstine’s Woman of Light (One World, Penguin Random House 2022) was a highly anticipated read and yet another example of where my expectations for a book are unrealized.  One could argue that it was over-hyped and that’s why it fell short, but I’d argue that its failings are due to not providing enough fleshContinue reading “WOMAN OF LIGHT – Kali Fajardo-Anstine”