Helpful votes received on reviews: 71% (34 of 48)
Location: sheffield


Top Reviewer Ranking: 123,155 - Total Helpful Votes: 34 of 48
Summer of '76 by Isabel Ashdown
Summer of '76 by Isabel Ashdown
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving and compelling, 23 July 2013
Isabel Ashdown just gets better and better. In this novel, she captures the intensity of that extremely hot summer and combines it with skilled descriptions of the island setting. I had a couple of holidays on the Isle of Wight as a teenager in the 70s, and reading this book took me right back to that time and place. The novel is packed with evocative period detail. The teenage protagonist, Luke, is extremely well-drawn and convincing. We empathise with his concerns, from his anxieties about impressing 'Sexy Sam', his concern about his friend Martin and his deeper anxieties about his parents and what they've been getting up to at parties that have become the topic of hushed gossip around… Read more
Glasshopper by Isabel Ashdown
Glasshopper by Isabel Ashdown
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I was immediately engaged by Isabel Ashdown's Glasshopper. The narrative alternates between thirteen-year-old Jake and his alcoholic mother, Mary. When we first meet Mary, she's recently separated from Jake's father and she's in a bad way. In the absence of a competent parent (Mary spends much of her time in bed, drunk) Jake does his best to hold things together, clearing up his mum's sick, doing the household chores and looking after his younger brother, Andy. Jake is a thoroughly likeable character but he's not whiter-than-white, so he's convincing. True, he steals from the kindly newsagent a couple of times , and sometimes he thumps his brother unnecessarily. But we forgive him,… Read more
The Devil's Music by Jane Rusbridge
The Devil's Music by Jane Rusbridge
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars loved this book!, 22 Dec 2012
I found The Devil's Music by Jane Rusbridge immediately engaging for three main reasons: the subject matter (I'm a sucker for a tragedy that blows a family apart) the coastal setting, which is strikingly evoked in all its weather-beaten savagery, and the language, which is consistently assured and precise.

Andy's story is narrated in the first person, both as a child and as an adult, and his mother's story is told in the less common second person. I've only come across straight second person narration a few times before, and it hasn't always worked, but here the mother's second person voice is haunting and incredibly affecting. I remember once hearing a woman being… Read more

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