Murmuration by Robert Lock

Starlings provide the panoramic perspective on a town whose fortune has been made from the hypnotic impact of the sea but whose ultimate demise is overseen by a pier whose physical permanence has been gradually eroded by the tides of time. The murmuration of winged guardians are the town’s avian hard drive, able to host … Continue reading “Murmuration by Robert Lock”

Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung

Lucy Lam is on the verge of drowning in the oestrogen filled waters of Laurinda school but manages to prevent an emotional shipwreck by regaining her sense of self just as the life-boats are being lowered. Much like the Vietnamese boat people she is descended from she demonstrates a resilience and desire to survive seemingly … Continue reading “Lucy and Linh by Alice Pung”

Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin

Genesis might conjure up childhood memories of Sunday school and the beginning of the bible but in the lead character we have a namesake who is perversely the signifier of the end when an unplanned pregnancy leads to the melt down of a youthful relationship and a fatal decision. This perfect storm of high emotion … Continue reading “Aftercare Instructions by Bonnie Pipkin”

Tale of a Tooth by Allie Rogers

Colour and sound convey the emotional ebbs and flows of a deteriorating relationship observed through the innocent eyes of Danny whose sensitivities to light and noise hint at a mental imbalance that struggles to find clear expression. The syntax and language are articulated in the voice of a young child allowing the reader to regress … Continue reading “Tale of a Tooth by Allie Rogers”

The Zero and the One by Ryan Ruby

Pembroke College Oxford is the educational cauldron for two brilliant but damaged egos whose diverse backgrounds trigger an attraction of opposites in which a mutual need to define their own destinies leads to a catastrophic denouement. Zach is the American Svengali whose Ivy League background is at odds with Owen’s provincial upbringing but their coming … Continue reading “The Zero and the One by Ryan Ruby”

The Teacher’s Secret by Suzanne Leal

A much maligned vocation slowly suffocating under the weight of bureaucracy is the catalyst for an ideological clash between Terry the free spirited educator and Laurie the newly appointed, results driven head teacher whose risk averse business model views children as commodities rather than individuals. Suzanne Leal presents a rich array of characters inhabiting an … Continue reading “The Teacher’s Secret by Suzanne Leal”

Fire On The Mountain by Jean McNeil

Standing as a metaphorical sentinel, a glowing mountain protects a post colonial African outpost from the 21st century and the cold wind of change it threatens to brings with it. Esteemed author Pieter is the physical presence in tune with the spirituality of his environment but the dreamer fears the nightmare of a disintegrating family … Continue reading “Fire On The Mountain by Jean McNeil”

Hotel on Shadow Lake by Daniela Tully

Nazi Germany provides the malevolent oxygen to a story of unrequited love, and lives tarnished by greed and loathing. The swastika becomes the symbol of social and familial disintegration as Martha Wiesberg sees her brother descend into a void of darkness. As the plot transcends the Atlantic the arch dictator’s controlling characteristics are reflected on … Continue reading “Hotel on Shadow Lake by Daniela Tully”

Outwalkers by Fiona Shaw

Jake Riley’s youthful life is being inexorably sapped by an educational establishment whose duty of care owes more to repression than expression. The Academy attempts to imprison the hearts and minds of its reluctant inhabitants and is an unwanted symbol of the government’s determination to control the people of England at any cost. The Coalition … Continue reading “Outwalkers by Fiona Shaw”