Family life

The Belfast Blitz: These Days, by Lucy Caldwell, reviewed

19 March 2022 9:00 am

Caught outside at the start of a raid in the Belfast Blitz as the incendiary bombs rain down, Audrey looks…

Portrait of a domestic tyrant: The Exhibitionist, by Charlotte Mendelson, reviewed

19 March 2022 9:00 am

If vivid, drily hilarious tales about messy families stuffed with passive aggression and seething resentment are your thing, you will…

Knotty problems: French Braid, by Anne Tyler, reviewed

19 March 2022 9:00 am

Anne Tyler’s 24th novel French Braid opens in 2010 in Philadelphia train station. We find the teenage Serena, who has…

The home life of Shirley Jackson, queen of horror

17 April 2021 9:00 am

‘One of the nicest things about being a writer,’ Shirley Jackson once noted in a lecture titled ‘How I Write’,…

Dreading demobilisation: The Autumn of the Ace, by Louis de Bernières, reviewed

16 January 2021 9:00 am

The Autumn of the Ace begins in 1945, as the second world war ends, but both Louis de Bernières and…

Stockholm syndrome: The Family Clause, by Jonas Hassen Khemiri, reviewed

1 August 2020 9:00 am

Some faint hearts may sink at the idea of a torrid Swedish family drama peopled with nameless figures identified only…

Deeply mysterious: the latest thrillers reviewed

27 October 2018 9:00 am

Maggie is sitting alone in the park when she’s approached by Harvey, who introduces himself as a recruiter for MI5.…

Above and below: From Robin Dalton’s My Relations: ‘My second cousin, Penelope Wood, is an artist, or at least hopes to be one. She is only 16, but she has done some beautiful little paintings. I have one hanging in my room now. It is a landscape and is one she did when only 12 years old’

When mother killed the plumber — and Nellie Melba came round to sing

4 June 2016 9:00 am

Here’s a pair of little books — one even littler than the other — by Robin Dalton (née Eakin), a…

Anne Tyler’s everyday passions

14 February 2015 9:00 am

There was nothing remarkable about the Whitshanks. None of them was famous. None of them could claim exceptional intelligence, and…

David Nicholls’ Us: Alan Partridge’s Grand Tour

4 October 2014 9:00 am

Us, David Nicholls’s first novel since the hugely successful One Day, is about a couple who have been married for…

The truth about being a politician’s child

31 May 2014 9:00 am

It was a Friday morning in 1992, Britain had just had an election, and I was on an ice rink.…

Why it’s time for a Cad of the Year Award

24 May 2014 9:00 am

Why it’s time for a Cad of the Year Award