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Showing posts from April, 2015

The Girl Who Walked on Air by Emma Carroll

Oh, this is a super book and confirms (as if needed) that I love Emma Carroll’s stories. This is Emma’s second novel; her first, Frost Hollow Hall, was nominated for the Branford Boase Award last year and was one of my favourites of the whole list. As I said then, it is the best kind of old-fashioned storytelling,and that is without doubt a compliment. The Girl Who Walked on Air is another exciting adventure, with secrets to uncover and challenges to meet and adversity to conquer. In Louie we have another bold hero, who dares to dream and face up to the world even when she’s scared and alone. She is a showstopper, no mistake.

The first chapter is a grabber – we are right in the heart of the circus with all its drama, magic and danger. We meet ringmaster Ned, circus owner Mr Chipchase and his daughter Kitty, Jasper the trapeze artist, and Pip, Louie’s faithful dog. And the scene is set for Louie’s campaign to be a showstopper to begin in earnest.
I enjoyed the story hugely, and loved all…

What I Read

I’m testing out the idea of a weekly What I Read Last Week blog post to see if I like it. I’m hoping it will act as a jog to my memory and perhaps even an aid to reflection on what I’ve been reading, but without the formality of a review structure.


In the last week I’ve been quite focused on reading Desmond Elliott longlist titles. I devoured The Bees by Laline Paull over Saturday and Sunday. My scepticism about a bee narrator was completely unfounded, happily. I’ve not had much success with animal narrators in recent years, but Flora 717 is sufficiently alien that it felt removed from the everyday, and the story does not attempt to be either cute or humorous (this is a good thing). For me, the novel works brilliantly.
I also read Chop Chop by Simon Wroe. I doubt I would’ve come across this if it hadn’t been on the Desmond Elliott longlist. It was a bit of a hard read for me at times; my vegetarian sensibilities took a battering now and then. The atmosphere of a professional (and I us…

The Desmond Elliott Longlist 2015