Tag: Daughter

John Williams – Stoner | Review

Title: Stoner

Author: John Williams

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 298

Rating: 5/5



I wasn’t too sure what to expect from this, and I basically picked it up because I saw a beautiful copy of it in a charity shop and then kept it on my shelves for a while until my BookTube friend Mara mentioned she was picking it up and I asked her if she fancied a buddy read.

I’m glad that it gave me the motivation to pick this up, because it turned out to be pretty much the perfect novel. Sure, it was bleak and sad throughout, but I like that from books and so I wasn’t exactly complaining. I also thought it did an excellent job of telling the story of Stoner’s life from start to finish.

If you’re looking for a plot-driven read then you should probably look elsewhere, because that’s not what this is. The good news is that I tend to prefer plot-driven reads to character-driven reads, but I thought this was fantastic despite my personal preferences, so there might still be hope for you.



I think what Williams did well was to show some very human characteristics in some very flawed characters. I even liked reading about Edith, Stoner’s wife, even though she was kind of a terrible person. Because she was a part of Stoner’s story and we follow his wife from start to finish, we can see how she becomes the way she ends up being. The same is true of his daughter, too.

Then there’s the commentary on the first and the second world wars, and you really feel their impact in the small community of Stoner’s university. This is a contender for my top ten books of the year.



Click here to buy Stoner.

Nora Ikstena – Soviet Milk | Review

Title: Soviet Milk

Author: Nora Ikstena

Type: Fiction

Page Count/Review Word Count: 192

Rating: 4.5*/5


Nora Ikstena - Soviet Milk

Nora Ikstena – Soviet Milk


This is another of the Latvian novels that I’ve been picking up of late after spending some time in Riga on a press trip. Ikstena’s effort was originally called Mates Piens, meaning Mother’s Milk, but the name had to be changed for the English publication. That’s a shame, because it’s actually a powerful title that really relates back to the novel.

That’s one of the problems with reading translated literature: you never know how much is being lost in translation. Here, it feels like a great translation, but I couldn’t swear by it because I don’t speak Latvian. But what I do like is the sense of “thereness” that you get. You really feel as though you’re walking the streets of Riga in Soviet Latvia.

The narrative itself jumps between an unnamed mother and daughter duo, and that can occasionally be confusing from time to time. This ability to see inside both heads makes the characters more three-dimensional, because we see them both as they see themselves and as they’re seen by others.


Nora Ikstena

Nora Ikstena


Click here to buy Soviet Milk.