Review of Playing House by Katherine Stansfield

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Ms Stansfield's poems are an absolute delight to read. Each one a glimpsed moment, captured, caught out from the kaleidoscope of colours and movement that pass the rest of us by in our ever busier lives; the lines shot through with grace and elegance, bringing beauty into words and phrases that cannot ever be forgotten. Moments welling up from the deepest of consciousness, held, cherished. Ennobled. The second-last line of my favourite poem 'Ghazal from John' sums up the aching grandeur of her breathless inner world. 'Poems bloom in allotments and travel the memory of leeches.' 

Review of Falling Creatures by Katherine Stansfield


In a word, gorgeous. In more words, the supernatural aspects really appealed to me (which Ms Stansfield handled expertly), but I also loved the balance of rationality, the focus on facts, which kept everything uncertain, unfinished, nothing neat and tidy, which I prefer, because this mimics life. I felt as though I was a person in that world, where superstition and fancies held people far more under its sway than they could possibly do today, which just highlights the author's talent at bringing a modern day reader into a world far flung from our own reality. I continually had doubts what the truth was, felt real fear and of course revulsion at the terrible things Charlotte was capable of doing. I hated Charlotte's narcissism, but at the same time I pitied her. Was she really some sort of self-taught shaman or was she just really good at the power of suggestion. Her rawness, her vulnerability, her ability to catch people in her thrall, there was just something so appealing, yet revolting about her. I felt the author crafted her powerfully through Shilly's eyes.

Shilly I loved for her voice. She's a character with many layers, yet none of them are the same, you just keep peeling and discover more depth. She very interesting to me because she is so matter-of-fact, straight speaking and yet in many ways she's extremely uncomplicated, she's the perfect foil to the complicated and deceptive world the reader finds oneself immersed in.

I loved this book, which I read in less than 24 hrs. I loved everything about it, the page-turning momentum, the unputdownableness of it, the world, even though it was grim, was intoxicating, like escaping in a time machine to another place where the rhythm of life is nothing like we can imagine. I wanted to stay there, by the fire with them, I don't know why, I just did and so long as I had this book in my hand and I was reading their story, I was there, with them.

Brilliant, addictive, poetic, gorgeous.

Review of The Visitor by Katherine Stansfield

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I am absolutely bowled over by your book. I couldn't stop reading it, or thinking about it when I wasn't able to continue reading. (Devoured it over the space of three days).

Your voice, your style, the delicious detail, the heat, the longing, the passion... every word perfect in place, and sense.

I wanted to be there, with them, walking down the cliff path, living in that made me long for that world, a world I had never even considered, or thought about before.

More please.

Review of Your Brother's Blood by David Towsey

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I really enjoyed this story of a small corner of society called Barkley after the fall of technology, which subtly explores the themes of fear, prejudice, dishonesty, zealotry, tyranny and what it means to be truly free. There are so many keenly observed moments in this book, some of them so poignant and poetic, that they linger on long after the last page has been read and the book has been placed on the bookshelf. The author has a voice that is hard to resist, and the layers within the book resonate deeply, some of them unsettling, but all of them steering the reader to ponder on the overarching question, delivered quietly, a whisper in the furthest corners of the mind: What does it mean to be human in a world of wrong? A thoughtful, beautiful book.