RaveThe Irish Times...unsparing ... there is no self-pity or justification in its calm excavation of the lasting damage caused to a family by addiction ... The second essay, From the Baby Years, charts the gruelling process of trying and failing to conceive and the pain of miscarriage. The mood is different and it is perhaps more introspective yet equally raw and harrowing ... I’ve never read anything quite like these essays. Pine’s fluent intelligence flows through each question, each dilemma, in its own inimitable way. It’s the kind of book you want to give to everyone.
PositiveThe Irish TimesAhern has a disarmingly down-to-earth empathy and is at her sharpest and funniest when characters have their backs to the wall ... These stories, of course, are only the beginning of Roar which will continue to develop on the screen. There is much to develop here as the story collection teems with ideas ... But fairy tales have always starred queens and princesses living in castles even when their audience and narrators lived in middens and ate out of communal pots ... Just a little more hardship and difficulty before the happy ending could allow Ahern’s brave women to soar (and roar) higher.
Frans de Waal
PositiveThe Irish Times\"... Mama’s Last Hug is a densely packed volume covering a range of emotions – empathy, sympathy, disgust, shame, sense of fairness – that we share with animals ... Building solid evidence in case after case with a few educated guesses, always returning to carefully controlled experiments which show the humbling complexity of animals.\
PositiveThe Irish TimesThe choice of the verb \'composed\' is apposite here because this indefinable book often reads like the poetry which means so much to Popova’s heroes while themes and motifs return as in music with renewed beauty and meaning. Figuring begins with a prelude and unrolls like a poem—chapter zero is a sustained incantation ... And then thrillingly as in a novel, the second chapter flings us into a seventeenth century carriage with Johannes Kepler ... Like Popova, these characters love poetry as much as they love mathematics. Popova beautifully closes the artificial gap that has arisen over the years between the two disciplines ... Although it is impossible to cover the multiplicity of the themes and stories here, love is a central theme, particularly the love of women for other women.
PositiveThe Irish TimesA recently widowed English woman, Martha Cassidy, is driving in the dark, lost somewhere outside Cahirsiveen. Her husband, Brendan Cassidy, has died suddenly of a heart attack, and she is on her way to his remote summer cottage on the headland. The practical need to sort and pack up his things is clearly more than that. \'Coming here forces her to accept his loss. This was always his place.\' ... Hubbard’s precise descriptions of the physical landscape are tremendous and moving. There is a real sense of Kerry here, and Martha’s empathy with Irish people past and present permeates her solitary adventure.
PositiveThe Irish Times\"A gifted biographer with a wonderfully light and pin-precise touch, Tomalin has compressed her own difficult, often tragic yet highly successful life into a surprisingly compact volume ... Her meticulous, empathetic biographies, like this memoir, send the reader back in dizzy delight to books and more books. Tomalin is a true and infectious reader, a legacy from her mother who told her \'that whatever happens to you, however unhappy you might be, you can escape into a book.\' \