Mini Book Reviews From My Feeding Chair

25 Mar 2022

The Maid - Nita Prose

Not a lot gets done with a newborn; we're not going to discuss the state of the house or the fact that I have sick on my shoulder. However, being stuck under a feeding/sleeping baby does allow quite a lot of time for reading which is a perk I wasn't expecting. Just need to figure out an easier way to turn the page one handed! Here’s what I’ve been reading in those quieter moments of those intense newborn days:

Ghosts - Dolly Alderton 

I really loved Dolly’s memoir Everything I Know About Love so was intrigued when I saw she’d written a novel. Ghosts follows Nina, thirty-something food writer, and the ghosts in her life; the new relationship starting on a dating app, the friendships struggling under the weight of children and moves to the suburbs, the ex-boyfriend moving on, her dad vanishing into dementia and the mysterious neighbour living downstairs. Over the course of a year, we follow Nina as she learns to adjust to a new phase of life, with witty observations on millennial living. Very enjoyable. 4/5 

The Fell - Sarah Moss

The Fell is the first book I've read that is set during the pandemic & I'll admit it does depress me a little that it has now been going on for so long that we have novels on the subject. But I found it really interesting to read a story set in such recent history; a time that is still very present and raw for a lot of us. Set in the November 2020 lockdown and told in stream-of-consciousness form by four characters - Kate & her son Matt who are self-isolating, their neighbour Alice who has been shielding for months and Rob who is part of the mountain rescue team - this follows the events of one evening when a desperate Kate breaks quarantine to go for a quick solo walk across the fells and ends up having a serious accident. It really captures the claustrophobia of lockdown as well as making subtle observations on the impact the pandemic had on society's behaviour and the place the world has become since March 2020. 5/5

The Gilded Cage - Lynette Noni

This is the second in The Prison Healer series; a dark fantasy full of magic and battles for the throne. I loved the first book so had high expectations for the second that it didn’t quite live up to. As before, I really loved the characters and the world but felt like I spent a lot of this book waiting for the action to kick off. I felt this suffered a little from ‘second book syndrome’; overshadowed by the first and setting the scene for the finale. Another good twist at the end though and I definitely will be reading the third in the series when it’s out in June. 3/5

The Gilded Cage - Lynette Noni

The Maid - Nita Prose 

A cosy murder mystery told from the perspective of a socially awkward protagonist who is struggling with her loneliness following the death of Gran, her only family member. It's heartwarming without being too sickly and there's a few unexpected twists along the way. Not sure it quite lived up to the hype but I enjoyed it all the same. 3.5/5

Small Bodies of Water - Nina Mingya Powles 

A collection of essays exploring nature, swimming, migration, food and family, amongst other things. I loved a lot about these essays, particularly the swimming diaries, the explorations of home, belonging & racism and the descriptions of growing up with the fear of earthquakes, but I did find some a little disjointed and like I was missing the point at times (which, of course, may have been just me!). 3.5/5

Love & Saffron - Kim Fay

Written as a series of letters, this gorgeous little book follows the friendship of two women living in 1960s America. It starts with a fan letter and a gift of saffron and develops into a deep friendship as they write back and forth with recipe tips, food stories and moments from their lives. It’s just so wholesome and will leave you feeling comforted, wistful and really hungry! 5/5 

Send Nudes - Saba Sams 

A stunning collection of short stories about girlhood and all the complexities of growing up as a young woman. I think it’s a real talent to keep the reader turning the pages with a short story collection because it’s very easy to dip in and out, but I found myself really invested in each story and character and unable to stop turning the pages. 5/5

Happy reading folks x 

Send Nudes - Saba Sams