Askew, Claire (2018) All the Hidden Truths. Hodder & Stoughton. Ryan Summers walks into Three Rivers College and kills 13 young women, then kills himself. The Edinburgh school shooting is told from the viewpoints of three women DI Helen Birch, put in charge of the case on her first day in her new job, Moira, Ryan’s mother, and Ishbel, Abigail the first victim’s mother, supplemented by sensationalist tabloid and social media reports, and police transcripts. What is the truth? Memorable, unflinching, heart-rending and gripping debut. Unputdownable. Rating: 8.5/10.
Field, Sally (2018) In Pieces. Simon & Schuster. A intensely personal memoir of a vulnerable life and a multi-award winning career. Field describes her experiences as a ‘life in pieces’, from a childhood of isolation and abuse, contrasted with her squeaky clean TV persona, to an adulthood where she learns to ward off her internalised trauma/drama and find her voice. Sally Field remains largely unknowable. Her single-mindedness, lack of empathy, angst and insecurity leaves you with the sense that her book was a catharsis for an audience of one. Uncomfortable and disappointing. Rating: 7.5/10.
Harris, Kate (2018) Lands of Lost Borders : A Journey on the Silk Road. Knopf. Kate’s childhood dream was to become an explorer. Her fascination for otherworldly places, wildness and wilderness sets her off on a journey, with her friend Mel, to travel the Silk Road, by bicycle. Her odyssey come travelogue takes us from sea level to the roof of the world, Turkey to India, in the steps of Marc Polo. Infused with science, literature, history and the stories borders tell she visits some of the world’s most gruelling, secretive, volatile and beautiful landscapes. Intrepid, revelatory and thrilling. Rating: 9/10.
Chemaly, Soraya (2018) Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger. Atria. Women are angry – we are underpaid, overworked, too big, too thin, too flashy, too dowdy, too sensitive, not sensitive enough….. Soraya Chemaly has developed a credo to channel our collective rage, express it and no longer make nice. She advocates that although there are disparities between communities we need to face the sexism, aggression, injustice and risk together. Biting, galvanising and liberating polemic. Rating: 8.5/10.