Proud Waters (1954) by Ewart Brookes

Book review by George Simmers: Minesweepers were among the less glamorous naval vessels during the Second World War, but the work they did was vital. Ewart Brookes’s novel is closely based on his own experience commanding a minesweeper patrol ship. His hero, Lieutenant William Haley, RNVR, is at first disappointed to be transferred from a … Continue reading

We (1924) by Yevgeny Zamyatin

Book review by Alice C: ‘You look in bad shape. You look as if you’re developing a soul’. I read this dystopian novel in The Second Lockdown. On page 12 we’re told of the Table of Hours, where one’s life, one’s comings and goings, are mapped out in a familiar and comforting timetable and of … Continue reading

Humbug (1921) by E.M. Delafield

Book Review by G.S.: Humbug is a very good novel, yet another reminder that there is more to E.M. Delafield than the Provincial Lady ( excellent as that is). Like many of her novels of the early twenties, it is an impassioned plea for honesty. It begins with the splendid sentence: Good women know by … Continue reading

Before Lunch, (1939) by Angela Thirkell

Book Review by Hilary Temple Written in 1938 and unclouded by any rumours of war, this novel is surprisingly filmic compared with Thirkell’s previous and subsequent Barsetshire titles. In the opening chapter we watch an irritable middle-aged man looking out of his bedroom window. We are not told who he is until a horse-drawn farm … Continue reading

Blood Royal (1929) by Dornford Yates

Book review by George Simmers: This is the third of Dornford Yates’s ‘Chandos’ novels, and the first not to feature Jonah Mansel. Mansel had followed the Bulldog Drummond pattern for a twenties action hero – he was an ex-soldier sorting out peacetime problems by bringing into play the attitudes and skills learned in war. In … Continue reading

Women Who Seek (1928) by Denise Robins

Book review by George S. This month at the Popular Fiction reading group we have been exploring the steamy world of Romance, by looking at early Mills and Boon novels. I read a book by one of the publishing house’s most successful writers – Denise Robins. Women Who Seek is an odd title for this … Continue reading

WAAF into Wife (1943) by Barbara Stanton

Book Review by Chris Hopkins. I was very pleased to discover this Mills & Boon novel about five years ago when I first started to explore fiction about British Servicewomen in the Second World War. I have just finished it for the second time and have to confess that I enjoyed it at both readings. … Continue reading