Blogs

Jose Antonio Vargas (2018) Dear America, Notes of an Undocumented Citizen.

I’m not American, nor undocumented. I’m not a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist. I’m a British citizen, born in Scotland who voted for independence in the recent referendum. I’d qualify for an Irish passport on my father’s side and probably my mother’s too. Neither of them was born in Ireland. A product of the great diaspora, when the population of Ireland halved from around 12 million citizens, and then almost halved again. President John F...

The Salt Eaters by Toni Cade Bambara (book review)

As an old Englishwoman I can truly say that The Salt Eaters is the most demanding and also the most rewarding work of fiction that I have read for over 40 years. The place is Southern USA in 1981.. Velma Henry has spent many years as a Black community activist, trying to sabotage the local nuclear power plant ('they' employ her because she is a highly qualified computer analyst). She and her girl buddies also try to mend warring factions within...

Jennifer Worth (2009) Farewell to the East End.

You’ve probably not heard of Jennifer Worth. Certainly, I hadn’t, when my sister gave me this book. You probably heard of Call the Midwife . It’s one of the most popular programmes on telly and a massive hit for the commissioners at BBC. It’s got everything you need: nuns in funny wimples and nurses dressed in uniform (with nursing hats made out of doilies) no nonsense matrons and cute as pie, newly born babies, which provoke a collective aahhhh...

Elizabeth Strout (2021) Oh William!

I’m not a great fan of Elizabeth Strout. Yet I’ve read most of the books in this series ( My Name is Lucy Barton, Olive Kitteridge, Olive Again, and Anything is Possible ).William Gerhardt who Lucy was married to for twenty years, and had two daughters with, before they separated and she married David, the cellist (who died last year), would explain it in terms of compulsion. William admitted he had affairs when he was married to Lucy. That was...

Danny Weston (2021) A Hunter’s Moon.

Where there are sheep the wolves are never far away, Plautus. Danny Weston weaves a spell that adolescent children—and those that think young—should follow under a Hunter’s Moon. A combination of coming-of-age drama, morality play and a supernatural thriller. It resonates with contemporary themes and Scottish folk lore. Callum, aged fourteen, narrates. Kids will warm to him, because he is the feisty everyman-child. His father lost him in a card...

New Online Reading Event - 4th February 7pm GMT

Dear all, We are having another online reading event on Friday 4th of February from 7pm until 9pm. Please do come along and join in. It would be wonderful to have lots of readers, but it would be just as lovely to have people along as audience members too. If you do want to read, please send me an email at this address: rachel@abctales.com I will put together a list ready for Mark. Mark will, very kindly, be hosting again - you need to sign up...

Christopher Clark (2013) The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914.

It’s been over 100 years since the war to end all wars. An impoverished and tubercular Gavrilo Princip, who carried all his possessions in a suitcase and had nowhere to stay when he arrived in Belgrade, firing the bullets in Sarajevo that killed Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria-Este and the heir to the Habsburg throne for the cause of Serbian nationalism. Shots that rang around the world. Sophie Chotek, the Czech noblewomen, a love match and...

Story and Poem of the Week and Inspiration Point

Posted by airyfairy on Fri, 14 Jan 2022 ABC writers have really started the new year with a flourish. There has been some absolutely marvellous poetry, and the prose writers have been exercising their humour muscles to exceptional effect. After a lot of thought, Story of the Week goes to donignacio's 'The God of Mistakes'. It's funny, it's eminently relatable, and it explains a lot! The God of Mistakes | ABCtales Poem of the Week is '...

Story and Poem of the Week and Inspiration Point

ABC writers have really started the new year with a flourish. There has been some absolutely marvellous poetry, and the prose writers have been exercising their humour muscles to exceptional effect. After a lot of thought, Story of the Week goes to donignacio's 'The God of Mistakes'. It's funny, it's eminently relatable, and it explains a lot! The God of Mistakes | ABCtales Poem of the Week is 'Sealwatching' by HarryC. Deceptively simple, it's...

The Killer Nanny: Did She Do It? 25 Years Later, The Untold Story of the Case. Channel 4.

https://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-killer-nanny-did-she-do-it/on-demand/71550-003 ITV showed a documentary about the trial of Louise Woodward on 11 th November 2021. Channel 4 covers much the same ground. But they tell the viewer they have the untold story. What they have are two jurors in the trial that found Louise Woodward guilty of murder speaking anonymously in this documentary. Both female jurors were fizzing that Judge Zobel had...

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