Book review: The Map of Leaves, by Yarrow Townsend

by Alex Thurley-Ratcliff. From the opening, I threw myself into this new children’s book by first-time author, Yarrow Townsend, a writer with strong family and personal connections to Southampton and the New Forest. Though I do already have a love of fantasy stories, they have to be innovative and...

Book review: Secret New Forest

by Charlie Hislop. ‘And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul’ is the inscription at the front of Martin Brisland’s new book ‘Secret New Forest’. I go to the New Forest sometimes, cycle about, have a walk, stop for a beer, or show...

Read Easy Southampton’s Official Launch

by Chris Richards. It is estimated that 5000 adults in Southampton are unable to read. A newly launched charity, Read Easy Southampton are offering the opportunity to change that with free, confidential, and local support to all who want to learn. Read Easy Southampton links adults of any age...

Book Review: The Breakup Monologues by Rosie Wilby

reviewed by Chris Richards. Rosie Wilby writes The Breakup Monologues like a letter to a close friend who must get caught up on all the news.  Contextualised with discussions and questions asked of knowledgeable friends and acquaintances about why experiences during changing relationships are so important and rewarding to...

Book Review: Eliza Wren and the Multicoloured Peacock by Jennifer Paul

reviewed by Chris Richards. This book is a wonderful portal for children to melt away to elsewhere. Eliza Wren and the Multicoloured Peacock is Jennifer Paul’s debut novel. She is both author and illustrator of a children’s story written with clear morals, particularly the importance of self-belief and benevolence...

Book Review: The Passing of the Forms That We Have Loved by Christopher Boon

reviewed by Chris Richards. Breathless, frustrated, then ultimately a release. Christopher Boon’s fiction debut is an Epic in fewer than 350 pages. The protagonist’s father has terminal cancer, this alongside relationships new and old, all examine dependency, solitude and indecisiveness as main themes. Not for the faint of heart...

Book Review: Mrs England by Stacey Halls

reviewed by Andrew Godsell. As a relaxed reader, it often takes me several weeks to read a book. Occasionally however, I am gripped; such was the case with Mrs England. The 424 pages were consumed in just nine days! It is one of the most atmospheric, and amazing, novels...

Greg Gilbert – artist, poet, musician and ‘butterfly collector’. A tribute to a life filled with art, music, wonder and love

by Sally Churchward. Artist, poet, musician, father, husband, son and friend, Greg Gilbert died from cancer on Thursday. As a local journalist, Sally Churchward followed his career – from being the lead singer of Southampton indie band Delays through his being an emerging and then celebrated artist and poet,...