Francesca Peacock

The perils of Prague: Parasol Against the Axe, by Helen Oyeyemi, reviewed

10 February 2024 9:00 am

Three women with a criminal past meet for a weekend hen party – but any hopes of enjoying themselves are soon dashed

Gang warfare in the west of Ireland: Wild Houses, by Colin Barrett, reviewed

3 February 2024 9:00 am

The brother of a small-time drugs dealer is kidnapped, and his family and girlfriend set off to find him over the course of one violent, hectic weekend

Refugee lives: The Singularity, by Balsam Karam, reviewed

20 January 2024 9:00 am

The stories of two tragic mothers are interwoven in a haunting novel revolving around war, displacement, despair and the loss of children

Tea and treachery: Sheep’s Clothing, by Celia Dale, reviewed

11 November 2023 9:00 am

Posing as social services employees, two female ex-cons talk their way into the homes of elderly widows in order to drug them and steal their valuables

Satirical pulp: The Possessed, by Witold Gombrowicz, reviewed

21 October 2023 9:00 am

The 1939 Gothic pastiche which the author was at pains to distance himself from is now considered a delightfully devious work of Polish modernism

Bizarre miniatures

5 August 2023 9:00 am

With flying narrators and women whose hair drags on the floor, there’s something of Leonora Carrington’s weird visions about Williams’s short stories

Chance encounters

3 June 2023 9:00 am

The fates of members of a Jewish family depend on accidental meetings, the boarding of a ship or the ring of a phone in this complex fable woven from 20th-century history

The language of love: Greek Lessons, by Han Kang, reviewed

6 May 2023 9:00 am

Lessons in ancient Greek for a young Korean poet who has lost her power of speech develop into a touching relationship with her half-blind teacher

There’s more to corsets than meets the eye

25 April 2023 3:40 am

There’s a scene in the recent film Corsage in which Vicky Krieps, playing the melancholy anorexic Empress Elisabeth of Austria, indulges in…

Family friction

1 April 2023 9:00 am

In the wake of their father’s death, a brother and sister recall the violent domestic dramas of their childhood


11 March 2023 9:00 am

Three Dublin families

11 February 2023 9:00 am

Characters ruminate, doors are shut and relationships falter as one person’s thoughts grate on another’s in these subtle, tightly-knit stories

Hiding out in wartime Italy: A Silence Shared, by Lalla Romano

14 January 2023 9:00 am

Giulia retreats to her isolated farmhouse to avoid bombardment in Turin, and grows increasingly attached to the partisan couple she shelters

The great deception: The Book of Goose, by Yiyun Li, reviewed

24 September 2022 9:00 am

As introductions go, ‘My name is Agnès, but that is not important’ does not have quite the same confidence as…

Pre-Mussolini, most Italians couldn’t understand each other

3 September 2022 9:00 am

Towards the end of Dandelions, Thea Lenarduzzi’s imaginative and deeply affecting memoir, the author quotes her grandmother’s remark that there…

Murder most foul: The Marriage Portrait, by Maggie O’Farrell, reviewed

27 August 2022 9:00 am

There’s a moment near the end of Robert Browning’s dramatic monologue ‘My Last Duchess’ when it becomes clear that the…