Sunday, 4 June 2023


Theatre review: Gypsy at The Mill at Sonning

I've only been to dinner theatre The Mill at Sonning twice so far (my first visit was for the toe-tappingly tremendous Top Hat), but it's already established itself as a firm-favourite venue in my book. Aside from the stunning countryside setting (making this feel like a proper day out) and delicious two-course buffet that accompanies every performance, the quality of the productions they put on is really impressive. The talent on stage, sets, and costume designs give the West End a run for its money (and the ticket price is much better value for theatre-goers too!). 

Tuesday, 30 May 2023


Book review: Psyche and Eros by Luna McNamara [blog tour]

I've been a big fan of retellings for many years now, and Greek ones are definitely the flavour of the 2020s (see Circe, Atalanta, AriadneIthaca, and many more). I was getting a little bit tired of seeing the same-old, same-old characters and myths being reimagined, as there are only so many different angles a story can take, so I was thrilled when I discovered that Luna McNamara's book delves into the slightly more obscure love story of Psyche and Eros, aka a mortal and the god of love (the Greek equivalent of Cupid). 

Friday, 26 May 2023


Theatre review: Aspects of Love at the Lyric Theatre

Aspects of Love is a sung-through Andrew Lloyd Webber musical that is not quite as well-known as his classics Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Phantom of the Opera. But he wrote it immediately after the latter and there are recurring themes of unrequited love, the dramatics of the theatre, and obsession running throughout both. The show was first staged in the West End in the late 1980s with Michael Ball taking on the role of the young Alex. Nearly 35 years later, the actor returns to the show as George, Alex's uncle who gets entangled in an affair with his nephew's lover.  

Thursday, 11 May 2023


Book review: Serpent of the Sands (The Brightstorm Chronicles #4) by Vashti Hardy

I'm such a big fan of Vashti Hardy! She's had me hooked on her adventurous middle grade reads ever since I had the joy to review her debut Brightstorm back in 2018 – and I'm thrilled she's continuing the series beyond the original trilogy. While initially I felt a slight disappointment that her latest novel would not focus on the Brightstorm twins any more, I needn't have worried, as the character of Gan has now stolen my heart too. 

Monday, 24 April 2023


Book review: Carrie's War by Nina Bawden (50th Anniversary Edition)

I read a lot of classics growing up and I particularly loved the children's ones. Think Treasure Island, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and Heidi. But there are some iconic books that didn't make it to the Netherlands, or at least not to my local library. Charlotte's Web is one I keep meaning to pick up and Carrie's War is another. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the publication of Carrie's War, Virago Books has released a stunning new hardback edition of the book, and I was lucky enough to be send a copy for review. 

Monday, 17 April 2023


Book review: Atalanta by Jennifer Saint [blog tour]

I've been on a Greek retelling reading spree the last few years and I'm not alone! Because of the popularity of these kinds of books, more and more are published each year – and I particularly love those that delve into parts of Greek mythology that aren't as well-know as, say, the Trojan War. Madeline Miller's Circe comes to mind, as does Jennifer Saint's Ariadne. And Atalanta fits right into this list of incredible Greek heroines who finally get the chance to shine in their deserving spotlight. 

Thursday, 23 March 2023


Book review: Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin [blog tour]

Today, I'm thrilled to take part in a blog tour that's a bit different. Rather than celebrating the launch of one book, this tour is for the The Wingate Literary Prize and its shortlist of nominees. Now in its 46th year, this annual prize is awarded to the best fiction or non-fiction book that translates Jewishness to the general reader. One of the titles on this year's shortlist is Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin. I've heard nothing but raving reviews about this book in recent months, so I was eager to find out if they were justified! 

Thursday, 16 March 2023


Book review: The Company by J.M. Varese

They say not to judge a book by its cover but in the case of The Company by J.M. Varese I am so glad I did. I'm not normally one for novels described as a "gothic thriller" as my mind instantly goes to scary horror scenarios and that's not my cup of tea. But the stunningly intricate design on this cover gave me the vibes of a historical fiction with a magical realism twist, such as The Binding by Bridget Collins and The Toymakers by Robert Dinsdale, which is way more up my street. And I do think that's a more accurate categorisation of this haunting story.  

Monday, 13 March 2023


Book review: The Green Gardening Handbook by Nancy Birtwhistle

Watching the Instagram stories from Great British Bake Off champion Nancy Birtwhistle for practical cleaning tips and easy recipes is one of the favourite parts of my day. Who knew you could clean oven racks with tough food stains by leaving them overnight in damp grass? Or that you can create your own laundry detergent with ivy cuttings from the garden? Her knowledge is incredible and we are so lucky that she is sharing all her wisdoms with us. Nancy's advice is simple to follow, cheap and, most of all, green. Meaning that it's much better for our planet. And after focusing her first few books on tips for a greener house – in her latest one she turns her hand to gardening.

Thursday, 9 March 2023


Book review: The Last Tree: A Seed of Hope by Luke Adam Hawker [blog tour]

Last year I was so thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for Together by Luke Adam Hawker. A book about our times for our times. It was an highly emotional yet incredibly hopeful story about loneliness; showing that there is light in the darkness. The author's poignant images hit me with all the feels. And with his latest book, The Last Tree: A Seed of Hope, he has done it again. 

Tuesday, 7 March 2023


Theatre review: Under the Black Rock at the Arcola Theatre

“We all live under the black rock, and we will all be buried under it.”

A brand new play opened at the Arcola Theatre in London's Hackney this week: Under the Black Rock by debut playwright Tim Edge.

Thursday, 9 February 2023


Book review: Clara & Olivia by Lucy Ashe [blog tour]

I love historical fiction and I love theatre in all its forms, so I was very excited to read Clara & Olivia by Lucy Ashe, which is set in the world of ballet in 1930s London. The majority of the story takes place in and around Sadler's Wells in Islington, which is an area I know very well as I used to work nearby (and pass the theatre every single day), so I was really able to immerse myself into this world while reading!

Thursday, 2 February 2023


Book review: The Murder Game by Tom Hindle

I do love a good murder mystery. Whether is a classic Agatha Christie or a contemporary tale, such as The Thursday Murder Club or The Marlow Murder Club, as long a clever whodunnit. Tom Hindle's A Fatal Crossing was one of my favourite new discoveries within the genre last year, and the author's second novel is even better. In The Murder Game he takes readers to a classic setting: a group of people are "stuck" in a remote country house when one of them is killed. With motives and opportunities galore, who was the one to do the awful deed? 

Friday, 27 January 2023


Book review: Death Comes to Marlow (The Marlow Murder Club #2) by Robert Thorogood

Seniors solving murders seem to be all the rage again these days. While, of course, it's always delightful to return to the classics, such as Miss Marple, I do have a particular weak spot for more contemporary characters. I'm a BIG fan of Richard Osman's Thursday Murder Club series (see my reviews for books 1 and 2) – and I also thoroughly enjoyed Robert Thorogood's The Marlow Murder Club, which introduced Judith Potts sleuthing away. In the sequel, Death Comes to Marlow, the 77-year-old puzzle-whizz has returned, alongside her friends Suzie and Becks, and a whole new cast of eclectic Marlow residents.  

Friday, 20 January 2023


Book review: Emily Wilde's Encyclopaedia of Faeries by Heather Fawcett [blog tour]

Give that I've been a book fairy for the past 5+ years, of course I couldn't resist this novel, which combines my love for fairy tales with, well, books. The title may sound non-fiction, but this is very much a fictional tale, filled with imaginative world-building and a romance to boot. 

Thursday, 19 January 2023


Theatre review: George Takei's Allegiance at Charing Cross Theatre

American actor George Takei is best-known for originating the role of Sulu in the television series Star Trek in the 1960. But not many know the story of the man behind the iconic sci-fi character. As a Japanese American, George and his family were sent to an internment camp during the second World War alongside over 125,000 other Japanese people living in the U.S. 

Tuesday, 17 January 2023


Book review: The Mysterious Case of the Alperton Angels by Janice Hallett [blog tour]

I am a HUGE fan of Janice Hallett's clever murder mystery novels. They're imaginatively formatted, filled with great characters and even greater puzzels, and – most importantly – have a stonkin' good story at the heart of them. To celebrate her latest book in style, I'm thrilled to be part of the official blog tour, where I was challenged to turn my hand to writing my review in a different format, so here goes...