May 072015

In Victorian England, a famous Reverend scientist has secrets, and a personal shame. He has a series of sickly sons, most of whom have died, and the last of whom is writing left-handed. He is driven away from his home by scandal. His daughter, Faith, remains steadfast despite any evidence she has against him. She is his true daughter, clever and quick-witted and interested in science and used poorly, again and again.

This Faith’s story of discovery of her own strength and what it means to be a modern woman; it is heartbreaking, true and absolutely wonderful in its awfulness.

Jun 202014

The secret author Frances Hardinge has hit it again. How is this woman who’s written these astounding Weird books for kids(ish) keep going unnoticed? Three children steal coins from a wishing well so they can get home on time. These children are all going through normal coming-of-age problems, but they’re about to get a whole host of others. Dark. Disturbing. Terrifying and emotional and gripping. Hardinge’s dizzying imagination unfolds a deep, dark mystery inside the wishing well and inside the wounded heart of a child. The sort of book you want to read late with a torch under the covers.

Get it here (UK) or here (worldwide)

May 282014

The Cuckoo Song starts off with Triss, a young girl in the early 1920s who has just woken up from a fever. She’s out of sorts, and gets more so as time goes on. This book is an exploration of sisterhood, womanhood, jazz, adventures, dangers, and spiderweb tears, all in Hardinge’s inimitable, ever-so-slightly more creepy with each page-turn style.

Did I mention spiderweb tears? SPIDERWEB TEARS?

This book is bigger and darker and all a bit more real for its existing in some version of our world.

The book closes with “…that, that was wonderful”, and I cannot agree more.

Get it here (UK) or here (worldwide)

Apr 012013

There’s a secret in the world. Rather a lot of secrets, in fact. In this world that secret’s name is Frances Hardinge. In Caverna, secrets are everywhere. Politics that can kill with a thought. Cheeses that can explode. True wines that can create and destroy memories. Faces that are put on like masks. Perfumes that can beguile the mind. In this world Hardinge writes astounding stories that no one knows about. In Caverna is Neverfell, another secret, whose face betrays her thoughts, fears and dreams. In this world, Hardinge should be known. In Caverna, the world is about to change.


Get it here (UK) or here (US)


n.b. Pan Macmillan, the publisher, kindly supplied me with a review copy – now in paperback. A Face Like Glass was also a shortlist for the Kischies Red Tentacle this year, an organisation on whose board I have the pleasure to serve.