Published on the 20th January 2012 in The Bookseller.
Set on the desolate moors and ragged coastline of rural Cornwall, Lucy Wood’s debut short story collection creates a powerful patchwork of lives tangled up in the myth and folklore that surrounds them…
From giants’ ribcages and talking magpies to wishing trees and doors that appear on beaches, Diving Belles tells twelve modern day tales of ancient tradition and susperstition. Wood’s stories are set in the strange space between fantasy and reality, entirely grounded in real life yet unable to escape the mystery and fable that permeates the Cornish landscape. In Diving Belles, the mundane gets caught up with wreckers’ lamps, standing stones and wailing hounds; witches live in over subscribed retirement homes and house spirits keep watch over homes, fretting about thier inhabitants and keeping an eye on thier keys. The sea and the tides remain a constant presense throughout, one moment as a giver of gifts, the next a shadow that swallows up loved ones.
In each tale, Wood cleverly constructs a vivid sense of the Cornwall she grew up in alongside the folklore that is etched into its history. Yet however surreal her stories are, they never wander far from the human relationships at their centre. It is these depictions of fragile family bonds, unsaid emotions and poignant realisations that make Diving Belles more than just a collection of fairystories.
Though short story collections can often feel disjointed, Wood’s prose pulls you into each tale, conjuring up characters who are brimming with warmth and depth. Each story brushes the next to weave together a mesmerising picture of life in Wood’s seaside world. Diving Belles’s lyrical tales could charm even the most reluctant short story reader….
Born in North London in 1882, A.A. Milne’s love affair with the written word began while he was studying at his father’s school, Henley House, where he was taught by H.G. Wells. After graduating from The University of Cambridge, Milne started his writing career as assistant editor of Punch. Soon after, the First World War broke out and Milne went to France, serving as an officer in the Royal Warwickshire Regiment until his discharge in 1919. Upon his return, and in an attempt to return to simpler times, Milne set upon writing childrens’ fiction.
John Burnside has won the 2011 T S Eliot Prize for poetry for his collectionBlack Cat Bone.
At an award ceremony last night at the Haberdashers’ Hall in London, the Poetry Book Society announced that his “haunting” book of verse had won the 19th annual prize, beating a high-profile shortlist that included poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy.
Welsh poet Gillian Clarke, this year’s chair of judges, said: “Amongst an unprecedentedly strong and unusually well-received shortlist, John Burnside’sBlack Cat Bone is a haunting book of great beauty, powered by love, childhood memory, human longing and loneliness. In an exceptional year, it is an outstanding book, one which the judges felt grew with every reading….
To read the rest of this article visit Welovethisbook.com
The Descendants has bagged Best Motion Picture Drama at the Golden Globes, with the Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama gong going to leading actor George Clooney.
The film is based on native Hawaiian Kaui Hart Hemmings’ debut novel, which sees its middle-aged protagonist try to build relationships with his family and find some sense of peace in the face of tragedy and betrayal.
George Clooney stars as Matt King, a Honalulu-based land owner whose wife is involved in a boating accident. As she lies in a coma, absent father Matt is forced to fend for himself and his two daughters, mischievous 10-year-old Scottie (Amara Miller) and his troubled 17-year-old, Alexandra (Shailene Woodley), who he finds he barely knows.
While desperately struggling to control his daughters, Matt discovers that his wife was having an affair at the time of her accident and, deciding to give his wife’s lover the chance to say a final goodbye, the family embark on a bizarre journey to find the man their mother loved….
Read the rest of this article at Welovethisbook.com
Come in from the cold and prepare for a weekend of countryside comfort. Heart Home has found three of the best British rural retreats… Set in the heart of the New Forest, the ultra trendy Pig hotel is the perfect place to escape the niggles and … Continue reading