How could two literary grandes dames of the early 20th century suffer such opposing fortunes? Both Virginia Woolf and Dorothy Richardson can reasonably lay claim to have been the mother of the modernist stream-of-consciousness writing style.
Sixteen-year-old Prince Jared has barely ascended to the throne of Archenfield when his cousin Axel lays plans to usurp him. With the threat of war from neighbouring Paddenburg, Jared badly needs to make alliances, both at home and abroad. But will Jared or Axel secure the most support - and which of their "friends" can they trust?
To know your mother was raped multiple times and obliged to suffer unspeakable humiliation to survive the Holocaust is bad enough. To hear her tell the story chapter and verse and then relive her painful experiences while assembling them into a book must be excruciating.
Virginia Baily's second novel, Early One Morning, packs the emotional punch of Irène Némirovsky's Suite Française - or so her publishers would have you believe. They exaggerate; Baily is a competent writer with an eye for pretty details and an ear for the pain and regret that can echo in the most banal of exchanges.
Conversion is an emotive subject in Judaism, and rarely have I seen the complexity of joining our community better articulated than in Alison Pick's new memoir. Pick, a successful novelist here and in her native Canada, grew up without Judaism in her life and without any real hunger for it - or indeed for any organised religion.
His SS Nazi Party identification card, dated 1936, shows a sombre-looking young man with short-cropped hair and round-rimmed spectacles. His rather protruding ears add to the air of 1930s dorkiness. Just another quasi-intellectual Nazi bureaucrat, you might think.