Well, I’d finished the latest draft of my novel Jacob’s Ladder, and was feeling rather smug, ready to relax and access some culture, be more sociable, do some serious gardening or just rest. But something made me think: What happened to that scene where they come back and he’s thrown all her letters away? A … More Discovery!

French Braid

A new Anne Tyler is always something I look forward to. Such a consistently good author, even into her late seventies and eighties. She writes with clarity, humour and wisdom about early family relationships that form individual experiences. The image of the French braid illustrates how our lives are plaited together with our families. You … More French Braid


by Ted Hughes This house has been far out at sea all night,The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills,Winds stampeding the fields under the windowFloundering black astride and blinding wet Till day rose; then under an orange skyThe hills had new places, and wind wieldedBlade-light, luminous black and emerald,Flexing like the lens of a … More Wind

Reading & Writing

Some of the books I’ve been reading this year so far. Quite a mixture. Bernadine Evaristo to inspire me as a writer. Marian Keyes to make me laugh and to show me how to manage a complicated interlinked set of family characters. Matt Haig to offer comfort – it really does work, especially at those … More Reading & Writing

Printing my novel?

Last week I said I was going to print off my novel, Jacob’s Ladder, read it and start editing. My son had given me a printer they didn’t need and his girlfriend gave me a load of paper that was going to be recycled. The meeting of perfect circumstances? Well, at first all went well … More Printing my novel?

Let’s start again

A quick update… I can’t believe I actually finished redrafting my second novel, Jacob’s Ladder in March 2017. Five years ago. And it’s still sitting waiting patiently to go out into the world. But of course since then I’ve finished a third novel: The River Brings The Sea and in 2020 published my debut, One … More Let’s start again

Free love

Free Love, published January 2022, covers ground that will be familiar to fans of Tessa Hadley’s consistently brilliant novels and short stories. Her skill lies in the subtle way she dissects her characters’ inner lives, exposing their fears and desires. I read an advance copy courtesy of Net Galley and wasn’t disappointed. After struggling with … More Free love