Natasha Solomons's The Song Collector: A slight discord

By Hester Abrams, August 25, 2015

In Natasha Solomons's The Song Collector (Sceptre, £16.99) the sons of a once grand Dorset family return home after the Second World War to find their country pile good for nothing except demolition.


Review: Léon Blum

By Vernon Bogdanor, August 23, 2015

By Pierre Birnbaum
Yale University Press, £14.99


Review: Going Up

By Daniel Snowman, August 20, 2015

By Frederic Raphael
The Robson Press, £25

Frederic Raphael's engaging new memoir tells us of his early years: "going up" to Cambridge and then, bit by bit, in the literary and cultural worlds to which he aspired.


Innocence: Or, Murder on Steep Street

By Anne Garvey, August 6, 2015

By Heda Margolius Kovály (Trans: Alex Zucker)
Soho Press, £18.99


A man with answers and a woman with questions

By David Goldberg, August 6, 2015

The Tail Wags the Dog
By Efraim Karsh
Bloomsbury, £25

Losing Israel
By Jasmine Donahaye
Seren, £12.99

It is a historian's old trick, popularised by A.J.P. Taylor, to take an accepted historical narrative and subvert it by arguing the opposite.


Interview: Sara Paretsky

By Jessica Mann, July 30, 2015

In Brush Back, the celebrated Chicago detective V. I. Warshawski is beaten up, chased through rodent-infested tunnels and pushed over a cliff into a tar pit.

At nearly 50, is she getting a bit old for such ordeals, I ask her creator, Sara Paretsky, when we meet for coffee in her London hotel.


Review: The Lodger

By Madeleine Kingsley, July 30, 2015

By Louisa Treger
St Martin's Press, £16.99

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.


Children's books: Difficult friends

By Angela Kiverstein, July 24, 2015

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?


Sex was what saved me

By Anthea Gerrie, July 23, 2015

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.


Review: Early One Morning

By Hephzibah Anderson, July 23, 2015

By Virginia Baily
Virago, £14.99

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.