Book Reviews of the Week 06.07.20

The Seduction by Joanna Briscoe

“A classy, compulsive tale of desire and obsession, it glitters with menace.”

Mail On Sunday

“Briscoe deftly explores the therapeutic transferential relationship in a tense, skilfully plotted and emotionally perceptive story”


“The author has a fine eye for aesthetic detail and an even finer one for parental relationships … this is seduction of the most insidious kind.”

The Spectator

“Through this addictive, macabre fairground ride of a novel, Briscoe reminds us to value the quieter forms of love.”


“A febrile, urgent tale.”

Sunday Times

“Juicy and thrilling.”

Buy The Seduction from your local Bookseller:

Joanna Briscoe’s new novel The Seduction is a deeply dark and brilliant portrayal of desire, escapism and ultimately self-destruction.

Beth lives by Camden Lock with her partner Sol and their daughter Fern. Life is peaceful, but Beth is troubled by increasing unease. It could be to
do with her mother’s disappearance years ago. It could be her sense that Fern is keeping secrets from her. So she goes to therapy.

Dr Tamara Bywater is there to help her patients, and soon their sessions become the highlight of Beth’s week. But Beth is in over her head before she realises
that Tamara might not be all she seems…

Transgression, obsession and, of course, seduction, Briscoe’s fifth book is a sharp, clever, excellent portrayal middle class ennui. Dr Tamara Bywater is the sort of character who haunts you forever, right down to her high heels. Fantastic.

The Seduction by Joanna Briscoe is published by Bloomsbury £16.99

The Golden Rule by Amanda Craig

‘If you like your novels wide-ranging, ambitious, socially panoramic, and engaged in the most important issues of the day, Amanda Craig is the writer for
you. For more than twenty years now she has been anatomising the state of the British nation with wit and empathy’

Jonathan Coe

‘She’s such a skilful storyteller who vividly dramatizes our lives with wit,
wisdom and compassion’

Bernardine Evaristo

‘Terrific, page-turning, slyly funny’

India Knight

‘As satisfying a novel as I have read in years’

Sarah Perry

‘Amanda Craig is one of the most brilliant and entertaining novelists now
working in Britain’

Alison Lurie
Buy The Golden Rule from your local Bookseller:

The Times – Books for 2020
New Statesman – Books for 2020 
Sunday Times – Books to look out for in 2020

Amanda Craig takes the idea of Patricia Highsmith’s Strangers On A Train and
weaves in the fairy tales of Beauty and The Beast and Cinderella to create a
gripping state of the nation novel.

When Hannah is invited into the First-Class carriage of the London to Penzance train by Jinni, she walks into a spider’s web. Now a poor young single mother, Hannah once escaped Cornwall to go to university. But once she married Jake and had his child, her dreams were crushed into bitter disillusion. Her husband has left her for Eve, rich and childless, and Hannah has been surviving by becoming a cleaner in London. Jinni is equally angry and bitter, and in the course of their journey the two women agree to murder each other’s husbands.

After all, they are strangers on a train – who could possibly connect them? 

Told against the background of a crumbling socially divided Cornwall, The Golden Rule, is a rich and exquisitely written novel that draws in the reader with its mixture of finely drawn characters and a page-turning narrative that hooks right to the end. Brilliant.

Little Brown publishes the Golden Rule by Amanda Craig. £16.99

Putney by Sofka Zinovieff

“Certain books worm their way into your soul, grabbing you from the opening paragraph and holding you in their grip until the final page has
been turned. Sofa Zinovieff’s Putney is just such a book, compelling the reader from its atmospheric opening until its bruising, bittersweet end.”

Sarah Hughes, i

“Among the hottest books of this blazing summer.”

Allison Pearson, Daily Telegraph

Accomplished, timely and unusually well-wrought

Sarah Moss, Guardian

“Zinovieff handles this difficult subject with control, insight, wisdom and sympathy … For anyone who came of age in that era, this can be an uncomfortable read, as well as an utterly fascinating one. I think it’s the best novel of 2018, by far.”

Cressida Connolly, Spectator, Books of the Year 2018

“Sofka Zinovieff writes about this moral minefield with the necessary sensitivity, inhabiting her characters so convincingly that the conclusion is
all the more chilling.”

Kate Saunders, The Times
Buy Putney from your local Bookseller:

Sofka Zinovieff’s Puntey, the smash hit of 2018, tells the compelling story
of Ralph, an up-and-coming composer, who goes to visit Edmund Greenslay in his riverside home. At the heart of the house’s wild bliss, he finds Edmund’s nine-year-old daughter Daphne, flitting, sprite-like, through the house’s colourful rooms and unruly garden. From the moment their lives collide Ralph is consumed by an obsession to make Daphne his.

Decades later, Daphne watches her own daughter come of age and is confronted with the truth of her own childhood – and a devastating act of violence that has lain hidden for decades.

A modern day Lolita for the post #MeToo generation, Putney, examines
the tricky blurred lines between sex and sexuality and the ever-shifting
sands of transgression and taboo.

Haunting and beguiling and beautifully written it’s a story that stays forever in the heart and the mind.

Putney by Sofka Zinovieff is published by Bloomsbury £8.99

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