The Widow – Fiona Barton

“He wasn’t there to provide for her anymore. Or to stop her talking.”

Barton’s ‘The Widow’ tells the tale of Jean Taylor and husband Glen. He is the accused, and she is the loyal wife, quiet at his side as his name is tarnished and reputation sullied. Until, that is, the day she finds herself alone. With Glen gone, suddenly it’s her turn in the spotlight, and all those unanswered questions from the past are back and knocking on the door.

(This review may contain spoilers.)

(Major plot spoilers and the ending aren’t mentioned though.)

(Still not sure if you should read on? In that case, read the book then get back to me.)
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A Personal Tale of Bibliophilia

“I am simply a ‘book drunkard’. Books have the same irresistible temptation for me that liquor has for its devotee. I cannot withstand them.”

Never has a truer word been said about a bibliophile and their relationship with books than these by Canadian author L.M. Montgomery (for those of you trying to place her, Montgomery’s rise to literary stardom began with the publication of ‘Anne of Green Gables’ in 1908).

How many of us have told ourselves we’ll stop after one more page, before somehow managing to reach the end of the chapter? And how many have promised the same for one chapter but have gone on to finish the entire book, sleep be damned? I know I for one fit into both camps, and it is that ‘irresistible temptation’ that is to blame.

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Fitzgerald, Technology, and Writing Decline – A Commentary

“All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.”

In a letter to his daughter “Scottie”, writer of American classic ‘The Great Gatsby’, F Scott Fitzgerald offered this curious insight. Though the letter was undated, what is clear from both his own accounts, and those of him from the time, is he did not see himself as the literary great the world does today.

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Dickinson, Poetry and Bronchitis

“Then Space – began to toll, // As all the Heavens were a Bell, / And Being, but an Ear,”

My favourite lines in Emily Dickinson’s ‘I felt a Funeral, in my Brain’, the first time I read them, I was struck by imagery of starry galaxies being poured down a golden ear horn, into a waiting ear. Her poetry was dark, and bleak, and yet rhythm and lexical choice had been woven together to produce such simplistic beauty I was inspired.

This inspiration manifested itself during a biology class where the teacher set us several tasks. One of them was to write a poem / rap / song / conversation entitled ‘Doctor – is there anything that can be done about my bronchitis?’ Drawing on Dickinson’s poem, I ended up with this:

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