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The Sun is out, time to get your books out.

  • Hazel Butterfield
  • 20 May 2024

'Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly - they’ll go through anything. You read and you’re pierced.' - Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

The Sun is out, time to get your books out.


Dead Animals - Phoebe Stuckes

Dead Animals is a dark story of navigating a far too often patriarchal society where women have to make complex decisions about what battles to pick, and how that frustration can grow in its intensity until we snap. When two women’s paths cross, two seemingly quite different women who, however, have experienced the same horrific behaviour from the same man, an alliance/friendship/relationship form. Do you comfort and support each other, or let that connection build your righteous need to make sure it never happens again?

A cacophony of subjective opinions on what happened, who is right and how people should pay for their actions that destroy others. How sad people gravitate toward each other, but sometimes it is intentional, to hone in on someone you can mould into what you need.


The Mars House – Natasha Pulley

I was honestly blown away by how extremely intricately intelligent The Mars House is. Well thought out, with some incredibly modern arguments brought into a dystopian arena and agenda.

Earth is either predominantly flooded or going up in flames leaving may people no option but to escape to Mars as refugees. The Mars colony are happy to help but gravity causes an issue for refugees among those that have naturalised to living on Mars for many generations. Finding the safest answer for everyone is not easy, as ever it is political, fraught with challenges and driven by fear. In a new world where a society has abolished gender and religion, is haptic reliant and who have brought mammoths back to life. Can a televised arranged marriage among an Earthstronger (January Gale) and a Trillionaire politician (Aubrey Gale) running a campaign pushing to take their fundamental rights away, save the day?!

It was so immersive and genre defying that I suspect I will be waxing lyrical about it for some time.


The Midnight Man - Julie Anderson 

It’s 1946 and after years of women holding the fort while the men were away at war, the women at the female run ‘South London Hospital’ are trying to make sure it stays that way. However, there appears to be a midnight man killing off their nurses. Is this a power play to get men back in charge or is something even more sinister going on? The Midnight Man is a deliciously female centric, empowering and coming of NHS age thriller, showing the gender complexities of the era and sadly the still common power struggles of those who think their sex determines their prominence in society.

I am hugely looking forward to chatting to Julia live in the studio on Riverside Radio on 24th May!


Freakslaw - Jane Flett (Released 20/06/2024)

Roll up, roll up, the freaks are in town and they have scores to settle, lessons to teach and daughters to ‘lead astray’ in the sleepy backwards town of Pitlaw. It is a tad bonkers but that is because we are dealing with a unique enclave of society who refuse to abide by archaic norms and ideologies. However, ‘Freakslaw’ is more of a metaphor, in my opinion, of how those who take advantage or try to demean others to solidify their own ill thoughts or ideas of what ‘should be’, eventually will be their own undoing.

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