Title: Dinner with Edward

Author: Isabel Vincent

Pages: 224 Pages

Publisher: Pushkin Press

The Blurb

A charming, tender and life-affirming memoir of a middle-aged woman’s unlikely bond with a 93-year-old widower.

With its delicious food, warm jazz, and stunning views of Manhattan, Edward’s home was a much-needed refuge for reporter Isabel Vincent. Her recently widowed ninety-something neighbour would prepare weekly meals for her, dinners Isabel would never cook for herself – fresh oysters, juicy steak, sugar-dusted apple galette. But over long, dark evenings where they both grieved for their very different lost marriages, Isabel realised she was being offered a gift greater than crisp martinis and perfect lamb chops.

As they progressed from meals à deux to full dinner parties with an eclectic New York crowd, she saw that Edward was showing her how to rediscover the joy of life. For even a shared bowl of chowder could transform loneliness and anxiety into friendship, freedom, and a pure, simple pleasure Isabel had not known she could find again.

The Review

What an absolutely gorgeous book. Dinner with Edward is a memoir of sorts. It is kind of the memoir of two people rather than one. Isabel Vincent met Edward when she was bequeathed the task of looking after him. Edward had recently lost his wife and didn’t see the point carrying on however, through his unusual friendship with Isabel and their shared love of good food they form an irrepressible bond that was just gorgeous to see unfold. All the while we see how Isabel Vincent’s life is unfolding parallel to Edward’s life winding down.

Dinner with Edward is an absolute joy of a book. It reminds us to value people not things, shared experiences, stories and that the bet things in life can often be shared over a decent meal. It reminds us to be kind and it reminds us to give a moment to pause and a second thought to those who are older and potentially lonely.

I honestly cannot recommend Dinner with Edward enough. The writing style is easy and approachable, you don’t get overwhelmed by the story you simply find yourself immersed in the friendship and wishing you were invited along for the meal.

Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent is available now.

For more information regarding Isabel Vincent (@isareport) please visit her Twitter page.

For more information regarding Pushkin Press (@PushkinPress) please visit www.pushkinpress.com.

PiglettesTitle: Piglettes

Author: Clementine Beauvais

Pages: 224 Pages

Publisher: Pushkin Press

The Blurb

A wickedly funny and life-affirming coming-of-age roadtrip story – winner of France’s biggest prize for teen and YA fiction.

Awarded the Gold, Silver and Bronze trotters after a vote by their classmates on Facebook, Mireille, Astrid and Hakima are officially the three ugliest girls in their school, but does that mean they’re going to sit around crying about it?

Well… yes, a bit, but not for long! Climbing aboard their bikes, the trio set off on a summer roadtrip to Paris, their goal: a garden party with the French president. As news of their trip spreads they become stars of social media and television. With the eyes of the nation upon them the girls find fame, friendship and happiness, and still have time to consume an enormous amount of food along the way.

The Review

Piglettes by Clementine Beauvais is one of the most funny and most charming books that I have read this year.

It centres round the lives of three girls: Astrid, Hakima and protagonist Mireille have all been the victim of a cruel high school prank. They have been named the three ugliest girls in the school. Whilst two of the girls are devastated by this, seasoned Piglet Mireille takes it in her stride. She befriends the other girls to make them feel better about themselves. Together (along with Hakima’s older brother Kadar) the girls travel by bike across France to get to Paris.

So, Piglettes is many things. It is a YA novel, it is a coming of age drama and it is an affirmative book about finding the good things and loving them. It is a brilliant novel.

Beauvais characters are wonderful. Mireille is a tonic. She reminded me of Georgia Nicholson from the Louise Rennison Angus Thongs series. So sure of herself and completely banging to the beat of her own drummer. She is a heroine for the 21st century. I loved her.

Piglettes by Clementine Beauvais is available now.

For more information regarding Pushkin Press (@PushkinPress) please visit www.pushkinpress.com.

4 Stars

The story of AntigoneTitle: The Story of Antigone

Author: Ali Smith

Pages: 100 Pages

Publisher: Pushkin Press

The Blurb

Now there’s a girl who understands things, the crow thought.

When two brothers, Eteocles and Polynices, die in a vicious battle over the crown of Thebes, the new ruler, King Creon, decides that Eteocles will be buried as a hero, while Polynices will be left outside as a feast for the dogs and crows.

But the young Antigone, daughter of Oedipus, will defy the cruel tyrant and attempt to give her brother the burial he deserves. This simple act of love and bravery will set in motion a terrible course of events that will reverberate across
the entire kingdom…

Dave Eggers says, of the series: “I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of it. Ever since Alessandro conceived this idea I thought it was brilliant. The editions that they’ve complied have been lushly illustrated and elegantly designed.”

The Review

I do love picture books, more so since I became an aunty in 2015. It was with this in mind that I requested The Story of Antigone by Ali Smith from NetGalley.

It was interesting. I think I overestimated how much of a children’s book it was. Having an animal narrator and pictures does not necessarily a children’s’ book make in my opinion. Whilst The Story of Antigone is told well and the concept of bringing stories that some younger readers may never ever come across is brilliant, I personally think that the story reads as a text for an older audience.

Using the allegory of the dog and the crow to tell the story would have been beyond me and my understanding as a child (and I was extremely well read) and therefore I think it is a bit ambitious as a story for children.

The Story of Antigone by Ali Smith is available from September 6th 2016.

For more information regarding Pushkin Press (@PushkinPress) please visit www.pushkinpress.com.

3 Stars