Helen Macdonald’s celebrated memoir, H is for Hawk (Penguin Random House), left me with mixed feelings. The detail is exquisite, but the more I read, the clearer it became that I am fundamentally unsympathetic to falconry. I don’t relate to […]

Lynn Shepherd’s whine about JK Rowling in The Huffington Post cannot go unchallenged. Shepherd is a novelist and copywriter, who, by her own account, has not read one word of the Harry Potter series. Despite this obvious prerequisite to handing […]

They call them the Harmony mines, these shafts plunged deep into Virginia’s earth. Nothing harmonious about the way they forced her to yield her treasure then hurried from the devastation and disarray, leaving her plundered, gaping, with only a spiteful […]

‘If I ever lose my mind, just push me off a cliff; I’d hate to be a burden.’ That’s what my mother used to say when she was still effortlessly managing a job and a home; cooking Sunday lunch for […]

Anne Tyler’s novels are always satisfying. She’s a great storyteller, a master of dialogue and she has a reputation for crafting vivid, believable characters. Ladder of Years (Random House) ticks all these boxes, and yet her flawed protagonist (that’s what […]

A woman with only a cat for company has no time to be lonely. A woman with a cat is a woman in training. Eva came to me as all cats do; in response to a psychic call. A home […]

Foot problems? Here’s the rub: it’s not what you step out in but how you step out that matters When I was a little girl I wore black lace-up shoes. I called them my ‘built-ups’ because they had an inner […]

The vans are lined up on Kalk Bay pier. The catch is in, and it’s a big one. Silvery snoek lie in a glistening heap, but not for long. Knives flash and blur as the men sharpen them on the […]

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