Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Pendulum: A Flash Fiction

This is a creative piece I wrote in the autumn of last year. I was hesitant to post it as first, but then I thought, why not? I never share my creative work online but as it’s a short piece I thought it would be a good place to start if I ever want to share more in the future. I rather like it so let me know what you think! (TW: death, suicide).

(photo credit)


Her body twirled, weightless and gentle
Toes at a perfect point
Suspended by air
Creak creak, said the rope
As it strained against the beams


Friday, 1 February 2019

My 2019 Reading Goals

Happy 1st February, one and all! I hope 2019 is treating you well so far. For those of you who were waiting for the January slog to be over (and I think I speak for all of us there), you can now rejoice in leaving those January blues behind for another year. The nights are getting shorter, little green buds are starting to show, and even though it’s still bitterly cold, I’m hopeful that February will be a good month.

Despite January being the month of New Years Resolutions, I found it really difficult to motivate myself in the first few weeks of 2019. I blame it on the cold, dreary weather, or the fact that I was looking forward to a few weeks of relaxation after a busy Christmas. Either way, this post was something I wanted to write at the very beginning of the year but as my energy for creativity was at a serious low, it’s come a little later than planned. My Reading Goals For 2019.

I’m not really one for having strict TBR’s or set ideas of where I want to go with my reading – I’m very much a mood reader. This year however I have a few goals I’d like to dedicate some more time too.


I’ve taken part in the GoodReads reading challenge every year since 2011 and 40 books is my go-to reading goal. Last year I didn’t make my target due to the slump of a slumps I was in for the first four months of 2018, but this year I’m back to reading at my usual pace and I’m confident I can hit it this year.


Since reading The Little Stranger back in October I’ve been desperate to read some more Sarah Waters, and I thought why not read all of her work? I have a terrible habit of finding a book I adored and then not reading anything else from the author for months, even years, and it’s something I want to seriously amend. I’d love to find some new favourite authors and I have a feeling Sarah Waters might be a contender, so 2019 is the year I’m going to pick up all of her books. I’ve got five to go – including a re-read of Affinity – so I’m going to aim for one every two months or so.


I enjoy crime fiction and in recent years I’ve realised how much I actually love it. I love novels that keep me on my toes and crime novels do just that, yet I don’t read very many. To try and amend that I’ve decided this year I want to try some books written by the Queen of Crime herself: Agatha Christie. Shamefully, I’ve never read any Christie and I think it’s because I’m a bit at a loss of where to start. This post from The Book Riot has given me a few ideas so I might start with one of her more well-known novels first. If you have any recommendations of which book would be a good one to pick up first let me know! I’m open to suggestions.


A bit of a toughy since – like all bookworms – I love buying books. However, there are some books on my shelves that have been there for far too long. A little rule I have (which I’ve currently bent due to a post-Christmas book haul. Oops) is that I have a single shelf of book to-be-read and I tell myself I can’t purchase any more books until there’s room for more on that shelf. This is something I’m going to try and stick to this year because I do find it works for me most of the time.

I also want to prioritise some books on my digital TBR, that have been lying on my GoodReads to-read shelf for years. With the plethora of new fiction that’s constantly being released some older books get forgotten, so I’m going to go through my digital shelf and pick out a few to read this year. I may potentially dedicate another post towards the books I pick.

What are some of your reading goals for 2019? Any new authors you want to check out? Is there a particular series you’d like to finish? Let me know in the comments!


Wednesday, 23 January 2019

Review: Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier

I originally wanted to post this review back in November when I re-read Jamaica Inn, but alas, life got in the way and my review lay waiting in my Drafts throughout Christmas. Although later than I intended, I wanted to publish this review because this book meant a great deal to me when I first read it over four years ago and I wanted to share my feelings on why I still loved it second time around. So here we go. 

302 pages  Virago Modern Press  2013

It’s no secret that I love Daphne du Maurier. Her story telling is brilliant and I’m forever in awe of the atmosphere she managed to inject in to her writing. All autumn I’ve been craving historical novels blended with gothic themes and I decided to treat myself to a re-read of one of my favourite du Maurier novels: Jamaica Inn. I don’t often re-read books but I was craving something familiar and Jamaica Inn was calling to me, so it would have been rude not too, right? I think so.

The heroine of the story is Mary Yellan, a young woman in her early twenties who following her dying mother’s last wish, goes to live with her aunt Patience on the isolated Cornish moors. Mary arrives at Jamaica Inn, where her brutish uncle Joss Merlyn is the landlord and her aunt Patience is a shell of the woman she once was. There are no visitors at the inn, except for the wagons which come late at night and Mary soon realises that Jamaica Inn’s crumbling walls hide many dark and villainous secrets.

I’m always nervous when I read a book a second time. The voice in the back of my mind makes me question whether I’ll enjoy the story again. What if it’s not as good as the first time? That possibility is always there since as readers our tastes are forever changing and growing. Yet I was itching to return to this story and I was confident this book would be a comfort to me. And boy, it sure was. Daphne du Maurier has a way of writing that draws me in – her prose oozes atmosphere and suspense and it kept me on my toes even though I already knew the story. There were so many little details that I’d forgotten about and even though I wouldn’t consider Jamaica Inn to be a sweeping epic with masses of plot, it’s still full of tension.

I realised I liked Mary more as a protagonist this time around. I have memories of her being rather moody and aloof but I think that stems from how she was portrayed in the BBC mini-series, which I quite liked but I don’t think it was the adaptation the book truly deserved. Du Maurier’s Mary Yellan is good natured and strong, but she’s also na├»ve and makes her fair share of bad decisions like the rest of us. Most of the characters in the book are flawed and that’s what makes them so believable. Joss Merlyn is a ruthless bully who has committed terrible crimes, but I find his character so interesting as there are hints as to what he would have been ten years ago and how he became what he is.

Even the romance is flawed and, in a sense, unromantic. Jem Merlyn isn’t cruel like his brother but Mary notes the similarities and can see the charm that her aunt Patience once saw in her uncle. In a story that harbours some quite harrowing scenes, there are moments of tenderness between Mary and Jem which do offer some hope.

Although I anticipated the ending this time, I remember not seeing it coming the first time I read it. There’s build up upon build up and just when it feels the story has reached its climax, it surprises you once again. The twists, the gothic atmosphere, the suspense – I simply love this story. As it’s set through November and December it’s perfect for those blustery winter evenings if seasonal reads are your jam cosy. When I first read this story four years ago, I was going through a difficult time in my life and yet I still managed to find some joy in this book. That’s real literary power and I’m so thankful to Daphne du Maurier for writing it.

Overall rating: 5 stars
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