Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Wolf Hall - Hilary Mantel

  • A very good book and winner of the 2009 Man Booker Prize.
  • This is one of those books you can tell you are going to finish after reading the first couple of pages - the quality of writing stands out.
  • It tells the story of the rise of Thomas Cromwell  and his relationship with Henry VIII.  The background given on the times is gripping - the intrigues between different courtiers is contemporary.
  • A very good read indeed.
Wolf Hall succeeds on its own terms and then some, both as a non-frothy historical novel and as a display of Mantel's extraordinary talent. Lyrically yet cleanly and tightly written, solidly imagined yet filled with spooky resonances, and very funny at times, it's not like much else in contemporary British fiction.
Mantel knows how to build a picture from the parts available, with nothing extraneous and everything layered. Here is Katherine – “as wide as she is high, stitched into gowns so bristling with gemstones that they look as if they are designed less for beauty than to withstand blows from a sword?…

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


© Gloria Smith 2010

Quiet desperation is all around
It is quite still and makes no sound
I sit in my uneasy chair and stare
While the walls stare back
Blank expressions, stark and bare
I care no more; a wounded soldier
In an endless war, in a foreign land
No hand is offered to help me stand
I am alone in an empty home
The coal black night pressing in
Like a hidden shame, a forbidden sin
I strain to hear the lonesome sound
Of a distant train on a far off track
As the rain pours down, down, down
Slowly I drown and there is no one here
No one near, and the train speeds on
As I sit still -- and the walls stare back

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

walk & eat NORTH CYPRUS

A wonderful addition to Sunflower Guides - does what it says on the cover.

Tried and tested.