Title: Falling Angels

Author: Tracy Chevalier

Pages: 336 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

In her New York Times bestselling follow-up, Tracy Chevalier once again paints a distant age with a rich and provocative palette of characters. Told through a variety of shifting perspectives- wives and husbands, friends and lovers, masters and their servants, and a gravedigger’s son-Falling Angels follows the fortunes of two families in the emerging years of the twentieth century.

(Goodreads Blurb)

The Review

Tracy Chevalier’s Falling Angels is set at a time of great change. There is a new monarch on the thrown, the constant changes of the post-industrial revolution age and most importantly, in this novel, it is the changing role of women.

What Chevalier presents is families at odds with how they feel about all of these changes. The interfamily dimensions are questioned and show the ruling patriarchy and how women had to fight for every scrap of rights that they had. Falling Angels is told in short chapters – at times they can be described as vignettes – and the differing perspectives give you a cultural backdrop of how each change has had a knock on effect. 

I am fairly new to Chevalier’s work and I have refrained from reading The Girl with the Pearl Earring because I don’t want it to colour my appreciation for her other books . However, if it is anything like the masterful and engaging writing in Falling Angels then I know that I am I for a treat.

Fallen Angels by Tracy Chevalier is available now.

For more information regarding Tracy Chevalier (@Tracy_Chevalier) please visit www.tchevalier.com.

For more information regarding Penguin (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

Title: Airhead

Author: Emily Maitlis

Pages: 400 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

In this no holds barred account of life in the seconds before, during and after going on air, Newsnight presenter, leading journalist, and queen of the side eye Emily Maitlis gives us the insider info on what we don’t get to see on-screen.

Giving us the inside scoop on her interviews with everyone from Emma Thompson to Russell Brand, and Donald Trump to Tony Blair, as well as covering news stories such as President Clinton’s affairs, Boris Johnson’s race to PM, Grenfell, #MeToo, and the Paris terror attacks.

Airhead is a brilliant exposé of the moments that never make the news.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

I’ll be honest, I am more of a channel 4 news kinda gal and although I had seen Emily Maitlis on the news on the BBC I wasn’t really aware of just how prolific her career as an investigative journalist she was.

That all changed after watching that interview – you know the one I mean – and I instantly wanted to find out more about her career.

By all accounts she has led a fascinating life. The places she has been and the people she has met are amazing. However, what comes across in her memoir is just how humbled she is by her experiences and how she always strives to do better.

Airhead is a must read. It is a fascinating social document about the world we live in.

Airhead by Emily Maitlis is available now.

For more information regarding Emily Maitlis (@maitlis) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Penguin (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

Title: Everything I Know About Love

Author: Dolly Alderton

Pages: 333 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

A spot-on, wildly funny and sometimes heart-breaking book about growing up, growing older and navigating all kinds of love along the way.

When it comes to the trials and triumphs of becoming a grown up, journalist and former Sunday Times dating columnist Dolly Alderton has seen and tried it all. In her memoir, she vividly recounts falling in love, wrestling with self-sabotage, finding a job, throwing a socially disastrous Rod-Stewart themed house party, getting drunk, getting dumped, realising that Ivan from the corner shop is the only man you’ve ever been able to rely on, and finding that that your mates are always there at the end of every messy night out.

It’s a book about bad dates, good friends and – above all else – about recognising that you and you alone are enough. Glittering with wit and insight, heart and humour, Dolly Alderton’s powerful debut weaves together personal stories, satirical observations, a series of lists, recipes, and other vignettes that will strike a chord of recognition with women of every age – while making you laugh until you fall over.

Everything I know About Love is about the struggles of early adulthood in all its grubby, hopeful uncertainty.

The Review

I found the end of my twenties really difficult. I had the breakdown of my first real relationship, I had the breakdown of my longest standing friendship because of said relationship and I just found the whole thing to be quite traumatic. There was no guidebook on growing up. For those currently in their twenties I would say that you should thank every available higher power source because you now have one.

Dolly Alderton’s Everything I Know About Love is a candid memoir of how life isn’t easy and how we often screw it up and how we can fix things around us and how sometimes we make really stupid decisions and how sometimes we do not know what is for the best. In conclusion, it is your twenties wrapped in a pretty book sleeve.

Everything I Know About Love really resonated with me. There were times I was just sat, shocked, that someone had been able to verbalise a feeling I had or how she inherently understood the power of female friendship. I was bowled over.

This is the kind of book that I feel the government should send out as a birthday gift when you reach the age of 21. It would save us all years of anguish and heartache.

Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton is available now.

For more information regarding Dolly Alderton (@dollyalderton) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Penguin (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

Title: Once

Author: Morris Gleitzman

Pages: 192 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

Once I escaped from an orphanage to find my Mum and Dad.

Once I saved a girl called Zelda from a burning house.

Once I made a Nazi with toothache laugh.

My name is Felix.

This is my story.

(AMAZON BLURB)

The Review

You would be hard pushed to find anyone who works with children who hasn’t heard of the Once series by Morris Gleitzman. It is the story of Felix; a young boy left in an orphanage by his parents on the outset of war. Felix has no idea what has happened but firmly believes that he will be reunited with his parents.

We follow his journey as he finds his way back home only to discover that the home he once knew is no longer the way he remembers it.

It is through the help of a strange man, a dentist, which Felix and other children survive as long as they do.

Once is the first in the series and I will be reading more. It is a great introduction into the horrors of war and Nazi occupied Poland.

Once by Morris Gelitzman is available now.

For more information regarding Penguin Books UK (@Penguin UK Books) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.

Title: Things a Bright Girl Can Do

Author: Sally Nicholls

Pages: 432 Pages

Publisher: Penguin

The Blurb

Through rallies and marches, in polite drawing rooms and freezing prison cells and the poverty-stricken slums of the East End, three courageous young women join the fight for the vote.

Evelyn is seventeen, and though she is rich and clever, she may never be allowed to follow her older brother to university. Enraged that she is expected to marry her childhood sweetheart rather than be educated, she joins the Suffragettes, and vows to pay the ultimate price for women’s freedom.

May is fifteen, and already sworn to the cause, though she and her fellow Suffragists refuse violence. When she meets Nell, a girl who’s grown up in hardship, she sees a kindred spirit. Together and in love, the two girls start to dream of a world where all kinds of women have their place.

But the fight for freedom will challenge Evelyn, May and Nell more than they ever could believe. As war looms, just how much are they willing to sacrifice?

The Review

Things a Bright Girl Can Do looks at the suffragette movement from three different perspectives and at what girls in that period of post-Victorian change would do to get equality. It is still a fight that we are striving for today but it is interesting to look at a fictional account of what suffrage meant during its hey-day.

We get to look at how the different classes were affected by the need for equal rights and how even with the onset of the Women’s Vote some people were still excluded. We see it from the perspective of a well-to-do young lady whose desperate need to fight the cause ended up with a prison sentence and a hunger strike. We see the Sapphic love between two girls from different classes, and we see how they both want the same thing when it comes to freedom and rights but how they both try to achieve it in different ways.

Things a Bright Girl Can Do is an interesting read and one that still holds relevance in modern society where the battle for total equality is still happening.

Things a Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls is available now.

For more information regarding Sally Nicholls (@Sally_Nicholls) please visit www.sallynicholls.com.

For more information regarding Penguin (@PenguinUKBooks) please visit www.penguin.co.uk.