Armistice 2018: Beyond the Glass by Antonia White (1954)

Set in the twenties and the last in the ‘Frost in May’ series, Antonia White’s semi-autobiographical account of a young woman’s descent into madness after an intense love affair with a soldier too swiftly follows a failed marriage includes the following haunting scene appropriate for this poignant Sunday. During High Mass, requiem is being sung…

Little Boy Lost by Marghanita Laski (1949)

Little Boy Lost is the tale of an Englishman’s search for his 5-year-old-son in post-WW2 France, by the excellently-named but almost-forgotten English journalist and novelist Marghanita Laski, who died 30 years ago this week. At its core is the gripping mystery of what happened to poet and intellectual Hilary Wainwright’s son after his Resistance wife disappeared…

The Englishman At War, edited by John Freeman (1941)

I must start this week’s Random Book of the Week with a confession: a long line of theft led to me possessing this book. I ‘borrowed’ it from my parental abode a few years ago, my dad had himself ‘borrowed’ it from his own parental abode many years before that, and we think my Granddad…

Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively

There are many reasons why a book stays on my TBR shelf for an age. With Moon Tiger, the reason was very simple – after my Nanny Turner died in April 2014, I just couldn’t face reading this story of an old woman reflecting on her life, especially one who had ‘grown old with the…

Field Hospital and Flying Column by Violetta Thurstan

On the eve of the centenary of the Somme, and to continue this week’s First World War theme, I present Field Hospital and Flying Column, Violetta Thurstan’s account of her experiences as a Red Cross nurse across a First World War-torn Europe. Thurstan was born in East Sussex in 1879, educated in Germany and trained…

Journey’s End by R.C. Sherriff

To continue this week’s First World War theme in the run up to the centenary of the Somme on 1 July, a 1928 play which brings to life the most evocative of First World War images – the trenches. Journey’s End is set in the British trenches near Saint-Quentin, Aisne, in 1918, as officers prepare…

War In European History by Michael Howard

On July 1st 2016 we will commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the start of the bloodiest battle in human history, the 141-day Battle of the Somme that claimed 1 million lives. Therefore, this week at Brontë’s Page Turners we will be looking at a range of books that get under the skin of the trauma…

An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine

Aaliya Saleh is a 72-year-old bibliophile growing old in Beirut. Divorced and childless, she is considered an ‘unnecessary woman’ by herself, her family and her society, but her secret yearly ritual of translating a novel into Arabic has given her life a ‘private source of meaning.’ For 50 years these translations have provided some blissful…