Posted in February 2016

There were no Windows by Norah Hoult (1946)

This is by turns a moving and unsettling tale of an elderly woman, Claire Temple – once a revered literary hostess and author – now facing the onset of dementia against the background of the London blitz. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this is a rather claustrophobic read at times, as (like Claire herself) the setting of the … Continue reading

Woodsmoke by Francis Brett Young (1924)

Woodsmoke, Young’s tenth novel, is set in East Africa, where he served during the First World War. The prologue and epilogue are set then while the main story takes place a few years earlier. In the prologue an unnamed narrator meets Captain Antrim. Near their camp two skeletons are found in an old game pit, … Continue reading

The African Queen (1935), by C S Forester

The African Queen is a ripping yarn (one reason, by the way, for the success of the 1951 film).  Two ill-suited people struggle against incredible odds on an impossible quest, striking a blow for the right against imperial might.  But I think The African Queen, by C S Forester (1899-1966), is much more than a … Continue reading

Sanders of the River (1911) by Edgar Wallace

Book review by George Simmers. This book is made up of fourteen short stories, originally published in the penny magazine, The Weekly Tale-Teller. Wallace began as a journalist (including a stint as war correspondent in the Boer War) and had recently been to the Congo to report on the atrocities committed by the Belgians there. … Continue reading

Turning Wheels (1937) by Stuart Cloete

Book Review by Sylvia D. Between 1835 and the early 1840s some twelve to fourteen thousand Boers (Dutch/Afrikaans for “farmers”) who were descended from settlers who had come from western Europe (mainly from the Netherlands and north-west Germany and Huguenots from France) to settle in Cape Colony, migrated eastward and north-eastward – the Great Trek. … Continue reading