Motherwell finds home in the critics' hearts
20th January 2020
Deborah Orr's posthumous memoir Motherwell (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) has been hailed by the reviewers as "utterly riveting", "wonderful and awful", and "a fitting legacy left by a blazing talent"
"This is a no-misery memoir, however, and Orr describes some of the many acts of kindness and solidarity that offset the precariousness of her life outside her home,..."
— The Times
4.44 out of 5
"Clarke is unerringly good at telling stories and Dear Life is full of them..."
— The Observer
4.54 out of 5
"a novel of great kindness, often unexpectedly moving, with much to say about the status of “invisible” older women..."
The Other Bennet Sister
"The Other Bennet Sister reads as an enjoyable kind of fanfic..."
3.22 out of 5
Pills, Powder and Smoke
"Loewenstein gives a thorough and convincing picture of an utterly failed policy..."
3.4 out of 5
Say Why to Drugs
"I reached page 50 of Say Why to Drugs before I learned anything new......"
Such a Fun Age
"an accomplished and, above all, extremely enjoyable debut..."
— The Sunday Telegraph
4.21 out of 5
"unpredictable first novel from Beijing-born An Yu..."
— The Sunday Times
3.78 out of 5
Ladies Can't Climb Ladders
"an important and crackingly good read..."
4.22 out of 5
Asha and the Spirit Bird
"an exotic journey with a feelgood ending..."
4.11 out of 5
Life Changing: How Humans are Altering L...
" It has some good lines and is richly entertaining throughout, but under the surface it is pretty serious...."
Three Tigers, One Mountain
"An information-packed analysis of Asia’s regional tensions..."
"a lively, attention-holding account of what is surely the strangest decade in British history..."
4 out of 5
Short Life in a Strange World
"A quixotic global quest to see all of the master’s 42 paintings..."
"It’s a pity she distrusts narratives and conclusions..."
— London Review of Books
3.72 out of 5
"The author of A Girl Is a Half-Formed Thing gets lost in literary solipsism..."
Nothing to See Here
"a delightful, stealthily affecting story about what it means to be a family..."
Your House Will Pay
"Cha...is a talented storyteller..."
A World Without Work
"if your plan is to get up to speed I would recommend it wholeheartedly..."
3.17 out of 5
"The natural and supernatural collide in this portrait of a tiny community brimming with secrets. ..."
C. J. Sansom
"Sansom’s deep reading about the past, creatively processed, gives Shardlake’s adventures special historical value. ..."
"This fabulously frank tech memoir is full of sexism and excess..."
3.6 out of 5
"An essential account of the ideologies that have shaped the region..."
"Eleven freewheeling pharmaceutically messy vignettes..."
3.58 out of 5
"A hugely entertaining memoir recounts the dramas of writing biographies of two tricky literary giants...."
Robert Musil, Joel Agee
"(it) has a gripping modernity and inconclusiveness..."
A Scheme of Heaven
"A Scheme of Heaven will make you fall in love with astrology..."
— The Spectator
The Self Delusion
" An ambitious book draws on science to show that there is no unchanging ‘inner self’...."
The Highland Falcon Thief
M. G. Leonard, Sam Sedgman, Elisa Paganelli
"don’t let excuses stop you from getting stuck into this thrilling new detective series..."
"Think Ulysses on a cocaine binge..."
"as fresh and engaging as you are likely to find..."
3.95 out of 5
Tacky’s Revolt: The Story of an Atlant...
"(a) careful reconstruction of an understudied footnote in Jamaican history..."
Anastasia Nesvetailova, Ronen Palan
"This is enraging, essential reading..."
— The Guardian
"..has the potential to become the millennial generation’s answer to self-help books like Eat Pray Love..."
"Artemis Fowl for grown-ups..."
— The Daily Telegraph
Mr William Gibson
"uses its headline-grabbing counterfactuals as an opportunistic peg for a tricked-out potboiler...."
3.09 out of 5
Red at the Bone
"a rich portrait of a 20th-century American family..."
— Financial Times
"Dietrich’s life provides no shortage of rollercoaster drama..."
— Daily Mail
Haven't They Grown
"Sophie Hannah is one of this country’s most accomplished writers..."
Ismail Kadare, John Hodgson
"a mesmerising autobiographical novel..."
A Long Petal of the Sea
"a sweeping historical saga..."
3.91 out of 5
The Syrian Revolution
"However polemically useful it may be, Munif’s rejection of geopolitical analysis leaves him unable to ask or answer vital questions..."
The Dolphin Letters, 1970-1979
Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Hardwick, Saskia Hamilton
"fascinating for the sheer detail..."
The Hidden History of Burma
"Engrossing new work takes informed historical look at the nation’s transition from dictatorship..."
A Good Man
"The villain of this much-hyped debut is a total bore..."
2.67 out of 5
Why Women Read Fiction
Helen Taylor (Emeritus Professor of English, University of Exeter)
"In asking why women read fiction, Taylor’s book makes a start..."
— New Statesman
Between Two Fires
"Yaffa is concerned with how Russian individuals make personal compromises or find an accommodation with Putin’s state...."
In the Dream House: A Memoir
Carmen Maria Machado
"Carmen Maria Machado’s book is a tour de force. ..."
4.86 out of 5
"an extraordinary and tragic story, with special resonance today..."
— Evening Standard
4.5 out of 5
"Lupton’s ability to handle the topic is subtle and clever..."
— The Scotsman
The Story of Yoga
"shows how western interpretations of yoga have overlooked its complex history..."
3.57 out of 5
4.64 out of 5
4.56 out of 5
Rowan Hisayo Buchanan
3.33 out of 5
On Chapel Sands
4.52 out of 5
3.94 out of 5
The Making of Poetry
4.18 out of 5
Diary of a Somebody
3.36 out of 5
The Confessions of Frannie Langton
3.77 out of 5
4.3 out of 5
J. O. Morgan
The Cut Out Girl
Bart van Es
4.67 out of 5
To Throw Away Unopened
4.6 out of 5
Meet Me at the Museum
An Unremarkable Body
Pieces of Me
The Scoundrel Harry Larkyns
"Full marks to Rebecca Gowers for bringing this contradictory and little-known figure properly under the lens..."
"a brilliant, witty memoir of motherhood..."
The Colour of the Sky After Rain
"Tessa Keswick reflects on her experiences in China in a fascinating memoir..."
The Shapeless Unease
"This is an extremely curious book, and I mean that as a sincere compliment. ..."
"A poet’s watchful gaze on the natural world..."
— Times Literary Supplement
4.27 out of 5
"Allied airmen stoically carried out a strategy now judged immoral. Yet they were heroes..."
People Like Us
"his book is his refreshing willingness to address controversial issues with candour..."
3.63 out of 5
My Parents: An Introduction / This Does ...
"comes across as an attempt to address this guilt..."
3.67 out of 5
"a memoir that reads like a novel..."
The Zookeepers' War
J.W. Mohnhaupt, Shelley Frisch
"At times it's a little dry ... but the story he has to tell is so strange and funny that his deadpan style actually suits it rather well..."
"This is a remarkable celebration of the “alchemical combination of sun, earth, and physical effort” that is at the heart of truly sustainable farming...."