FRAN’S REVIEWS

Hedgewitch by Skye McKenna

A spellbinding new series for magic lovers and would-be witches. This story follows young witch in training, Cassie, as she runs away from boarding school, goes on a quest to find her long-lost mother and starts to explore The Hedge – a perilous land of goblins and magical creatures – a place she is absolutely not allowed to go.

McKenna has created an authentic and heart-warming world you won’t want to leave.

Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro 

This novel is a beautiful exploration of friendship in a future world, where boundaries between humans and machines seem impossibly blurred.

Ishiguro raises important questions about being human – this one will stay with you for a while.

Islands of Abandonment by Cal Flyn

I loved this book for its observations of nature and the magical ability it has to thrive in the most unlikely places. Flyn writes beautifully about the abandoned eerie corners of our world and the power of nature to reclaim what was once its own. This is a unique and reflective read that is essential reading in our times of climate crisis and offers some hope that nature can prevail.

The Highland Falcon by M.G Leonard & Sam Sedgman

Hal doesn’t want to go on holiday with his uncle, but when the Princess’s neckland goes missing he has to investigate!

Lots of fun, trains and detective work. This is a new children’s classic.

Kim Jiyoung, Born 1982 by Cho Nam-Joo

This ground-breaking novel follows Jiyoung, a young women in South Korea and the oppression she faces at every turn,

A very honest read that stands up to the injustice faced by Jiyoung, this book tells a story that will resonate with women everywhere.

I Am an Island by Tamsin Calidas

A remarkable and inspiring memoir of resilience, forging new paths and seeking solcae in nature.

Calidas hits rock bottom after moving to the Hebrides but finds ways to carve out a new life that is enriched by the natural world.

Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi

An enchanting read about daily life in a backstreet cafe in Tokyo that offers coffee with a side of time travel!

Customers visit with the aim of changing the past, but quickly realise the rules must be obeyed and not everything can be changed…

The Young Team by Graeme Armstrong

A striking coming-of-age novel that gives a glimpse of youth culture in North Lanarkshire.

We follow Azzy as he fights the pull of everything he knows to make a better life for himself.

Punchy, poignant and beautifully written in dialect. A Scottish classic!

Motherwell by Deborah Orr

A compelling memoir by the accalimed journalist capturing her love-hate relationship with her hometown and her lifelong attempts to escape its grasp.

Despite her struggles – set against the decline of industrial Scotland- Orr’s humour and observations make for a highly enjoyable read!