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Reviews Written by
Mrs. Caroline Johnson "nell"
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The Fox & the Fish
The Fox & the Fish
by Bill Allerton
Edition: Paperback
Price: 8.72

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rich, surreal writing., 28 Dec 2013
This review is from: The Fox & the Fish (Paperback)
Open this stunning cover and you'll find the mind of Julius McEarly. His innerworld shifts between reality and imagination.
Question; `Are you mad, McEarly?'
Answer; It varies.
The writing has an Irish cadence and is full of wit. Chapter headings include,Return to Zenda, Judas's Chariot and Entropic of Capricorn, but the favourite is Moby Chick. In this chapter, a wing from a chicken rotating in an oven `beckons like Ahab's arm from where he stood pinned fast and tight. `It's an Omen,' says O'Daly, `A Sign from Above.' Rich and surreal.


An Act of Love
An Act of Love
by Alan Gibbons
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.71

5.0 out of 5 stars Read it!, 13 May 2012
This review is from: An Act of Love (Paperback)
This book is brilliant. It is exciting, well-written with engaging characters and gives so much to think about. Is that why it isn't on the Carnegie shortlist?


The Picture Book
The Picture Book
by Jo Baker
Edition: Paperback

1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I wished this story could go on and on..., 17 Sep 2011
This review is from: The Picture Book (Paperback)
This novel makes me think of a painting by Brueghel. It has a huge sweep, yet intimate detail of its many figures. I felt affection for the characters and wanted to read the book every minute of the day, (including five past three in the morning.) Yet I was sad when it ended and I don't quite know what to read next. For surely it will be disappointing. Jo Baker is a fantastic writer. Now, off to find her earlier books...


Mole and the Baby Bird
Mole and the Baby Bird
by Marjorie Newman
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A quiet, beautiful book which speaks clearly, 5 Feb 2011
This review is from: Mole and the Baby Bird (Paperback)
This is a small masterpiece of understatement. Mole's love for the bird, and anguish at the loss of his pet is clear.Patrick Benson's illustrations are superb - look at that brutal cage.


Where I Belong
Where I Belong
by Gillian Cross
Edition: Paperback

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fast-paced yet thoughtful, 18 Oct 2010
This review is from: Where I Belong (Paperback)
This is a fast-moving story full of surprises, untrustworthy adults and people who are not what they seem. It's about bandits and supermodels, starvation and big money,tricky emails and difficult conversations. It's set in Somalia and London and has some complex characters. I'm way beyond the `intended' age group, and I couldn't put it down.


The Betrayal
The Betrayal
by Helen Dunmore
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful, 29 Aug 2010
This review is from: The Betrayal (Hardcover)
I think this is the most wonderful novel I have read in years. I've read most of Helen Dunmore's books and not been quite as affected by her last two as by her earlier writing. But `The Betrayal' is compelling, moving, utterly engaging, with characters I grew to love, and memorable settings. The writing is numinous. I read every moment I could spare to finish the story and then cried when I had done.


Scapegallows
Scapegallows
by Carol Birch
Edition: Paperback
Price: 7.19

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars historical fiction at its best, 16 Feb 2010
This review is from: Scapegallows (Paperback)
This story is told in a natural, unselfconscious voice that involves the reader at once. I snatched `Scapegallows' up at the library, remembering that I'd read an excellent review of it some months ago. Now I shall order more of Carol Birch's books. Hey, you publicists - make her better-known. She is a wonderful story-teller. The account of the flood is just superb.


The Quickening Maze
The Quickening Maze
by Adam Foulds
Edition: Hardcover
Price: 11.47

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The most wonderful writing I have read in months, 23 Sep 2009
This review is from: The Quickening Maze (Hardcover)
I came to order this book because I am interested in the life of John Clare, and it is wonderful. I wanted to read the story again as soon as I had finished, because of the quality of the writing. The descriptions of the forest and the gypsies are vibrant and the writing on the states of madness, despair and delusion are profound and moving. (There's also some wry humour.)All the characters, not just the poet Clare, have stayed in my head. They are full of their different yearnings, mostly for a state of mind they can call Home.


Saving Rafael
Saving Rafael
by Leslie Wilson
Edition: Paperback

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This should win awards!, 8 July 2009
This review is from: Saving Rafael (Paperback)
If the children's book world is at all fair, `Saving Rafael' should win big awards.Leslie Wilson tells us of the day-to day fear, tedium and watchfulness in the home of a german girl who loves a jewish boy. We don't often hear of the bravery of the ordinary Berliners who tried to protect their friends in that terrible era, but this story brings love and even some humour. The book faces up to the ambivalent feelings of Jenny when she goes to see Hitler himself. Part of her longs to merge into the crowd of admirers and be like everyone else, instead of being an outsider walking with constant danger. `Saving Rafael' gives us real characters(including an adorable dog), the passion of teenage sexual awakening and an exciting story that holds us until the very last page. Excellent stuff!


Then (Once/Now/Then/After)
Then (Once/Now/Then/After)
by Morris Gleitzman
Edition: Paperback
Price: 5.03

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shockingly good, 23 Mar 2009
The narrator of this is a young boy, looking after a six-year-old girl in Poland. He tells the story in short, shocking sentences. It's a child's voice speaking of an horrendous time, when no-one is quite who they seem to be. It's much better written and more honest than `Striped Pyjamas.'`Then' is also very funny in places - look out for poo, and the automatic chicken-feeding machine.


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