Widowed at forty, with four children and not enough money, Nora has lost the love of her life, Maurice, the man who rescued her from the stifling world to which she was born. And now she fears she may be drawn back into it. Wounded, strong-willed, clinging to secrecy in a tiny community where everyone knows your business, Nora is drowning in her own sorrow and blind to the suffering of her young sons, who have lost their father.
"Contrived & Overreaching"
The downloadable, digital audiobook edition of Colm Tóibín's new novel, read by Fiona Shaw. It is the 1960s and Nora Webster is living with her two young sons in a small town on the east coast of Ireland. The love of her life, Maurice, has just died.Nora must learn how to forge a new life for herself, how to give her sons a future as she tries to hold onto the past.
"Slow moving and tedious"
Penguin Classics presents Jane Austen’s Emma, adapted for audio and now available as a digital download as part of the Penguin English Library series. Read by the actress Fiona Shaw. Beautiful, clever, rich - and single - Emma Woodhouse is perfectly content with her life and sees no need for either love or marriage. Nothing, however, delights her more than interfering in the romantic lives of others....
By the time Shakespeare came to write Macbeth - almost certainly in 1605/1606 - he had already completed three of the great tragedies with which modern audiences are so familiar: Hamlet (1601), Othello (1603), and King Lear (1605). Each of those plays gives us an eponymous hero who is in some significant way flawed, but for whom we also inevitably feel deep sympathy, whatever his errors or crimes. But in MacBeth, Shakespeare has chosen for his tragic hero a man guilty of the most terrible crime imaginable to a Jacobean audience, that of regicide - the murder of a king.
"Hoping for Enhanced Format"
In A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, Mary Wollstonecraft tackles the wasted potential she sees in women, refusing to see them as inferior to men; she decries their limitations and suggests that they are worthy of an equal standard of education, and that they should be taught to develop their own reason, not simply how to gain a man. Written in 1792, at the height of the French Revolution, A Vindication is an eloquent and persuasive response to the prevailing attitudes of the time.
The Mill on the Floss is one of the great works of English literature. It is perhaps the most autobiographical of all Eliot's novels. The relationship between its heroine, Maggie Tulliver, and her brother, Tom, closely resembles that of George Eliot and her own brother, Isaac. The subject of sibling affection was clearly a deeply poignant one for George Eliot - she also wrote a series of beautiful and evocative sonnets entitled 'Brother and Sister'.
"Fiona Shaw makes George Eliot endurable"
This audiobook presents the three most important texts of Yoga read by leading British actors. These insightful and beautiful texts lead us to a deeper understanding of what Yoga can bring us, and together are guides for inner wisdom.
Alice's adventures, funny, inventive, and disturbing, have fascinated and delighted children and adults alike since their publication. The fantasy worlds in which she finds herself introduce her to characters as varied and well-known as the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the Queen of Hearts, and the Cheshire Cat.
"Awesome. Delightfully read classic."
As the solitary child of mild and gentle parents, Jane is fascinated and astounded by her exotically European aunt, Dolly. Dolly’s ways are certainly not her parents’ ways, yet she is an object of interest and dread to her beleaguered relatives. It is clear that they have nothing in common: Jane feels no affection for Dolly, and Dolly clearly dislikes children. Yet the two are fated to go through life in uneasy harness, until such time as their alliance is accepted by both as not only inevitable, but as something of great value. Read by Fiona Shaw.
Mary-Margaret O'Reilly is seemingly a harmless enough young woman, ready and willing to help out Father Diamond in the Sacred Heart church in Battersea. She may not be very bright, and she is sadly overweight, but she can certainly clean. She is also very good with children, and helps out an Asian woman on her estate whose little boy Shamso is adorable.
The Gathering is a family epic, condensed and clarified through the remarkable lens of Anne Enright’s unblinking eye. It is also a sexual history: tracing the line of hurt and redemption through three generations – starting with the grandmother, Ada Merriman – showing how memories warp and family secrets fester. This is a novel about love and disappointment, about thwarted lust and limitless desire, and how our fate is written in the body, not in the stars.
Alice is back in her room, stroking her cats - but not for long. Slipping through the Looking-Glass, she meets another wild collection of fantasy characters including the Red and White Kings and Queens, Tweedledum and Tweedledee and is entertained by the poems "Jabberwocky" and "The Walrus and the Carpenter."
"A lovely rendition of a classic"
Covering the 80-plus years of the life of Minnie O'Brien, who is bound to take her place in literature alongside James Joyce's Molly Bloom, The Banyan Tree is a rich saga of rural Ireland in the 20th century. In distinctly layered prose that has been compared to that of Joyce, Yeats, and Dylan Thomas, Nolan lovingly details the life and times, the triumphs and tragedies, of this spirited woman.
Locked away, remote from the rest of the body in its own custom-built casing of skull bone, with no intrinsic moving parts, the human brain remains a tantalising mystery. But now, more than ever before, we have the expertise to tackle this mystery - the last 20 years have seen astounding progress in brain research. Susan Greenfield begins by exploring the roles of different regions of the brain.
"Excellent short book on the brain"
The nine surviving children of the Hegarty clan gather together in Dublin for the wake of their wayward brother Liam. It wasn't the drink that killed him-although that certainly helped-it was what happened to him as a boy in his grandmother's house, in the winter of 1968.
"Family funerals reveal families to themselves"
Like its popular and acclaimed predecessor, Restoration London, this book is the result of the author's passionate interest in the practical details of the everyday life of our ancestors, so often ignored in more conventional history books.
In a church in Battersea, Mary-Margaret O'Reilly sees blood on her hands and believes she has witnessed a miracle. The consequences are both profound and devastating - not just for her but for others, too: Father Diamond, the parish priest, struggling with his own faith. Stella, adrift in her marriage and aching for her ten-year old son, away at boarding school. Alice, counting the days until her soldier son comes home. And Mary-Margaret's mother, imprisoned in a tower block with nothing but her thoughts for company.
Josie, the ailing, elderly inhabitant of an Irish country mansion, dwells in the shadowy world of remembered pain and loneliness. McGreevy, the terrorist, reintroduces the possibility of compassion and tenderness, but there is an inevitably violent conclusion to their understanding as the police net closes. With extraordinary skill and empathy, Edna O'Brien shows two faces of a divided land: the yearnings of a woman whose youthful joy was broken, and the intransigent idealism of her captor.