Dinner Party: A Tragedy by Sarah Gilmartin

Based on the title alone – Dinner Party: A Tragedy – I thought Sarah Gilmartin’s debut novel would be exactly my thing. Unfortunately it wasn’t.

To mark the anniversary of the death of her twin sister, Elaine, Kate meticulously plans a dinner party for her family. However, before dessert can be served, old tensions flare, revealing strained relationships.

The story then rewinds to Ireland in the nineties, when the family was complete – Kate’s parents, Elaine, and her two older brothers. We learn that her mother is an extremely demanding and narcissistic person, who presents one way to the world, and another way to her family. Continue reading

No Bull by Vika and Linda Bull

I have long been a fan of Vika and Linda Bull. Of course, there’s the Black Sorrows and their extraordinary backing vocals for Paul Kelly, but it was their self-titled debut album in 1994 – and particularly their song, Sacred Things and the incredible rendition of Many Rivers to Cross – that cemented it for me. Continue reading

Tacky by Rax King

There was a line in Rax King’s memoir (organised as essays), Tacky, that immediately reminded me of a night out with a dear friend. We had a loose plan to see the movie Black Swan. I called her to fine tune the plan, and she intimated that she wasn’t feeling up to something as cerebral as ballerinas’ doppelgängers. “Okay”, I said, “What about Hall Pass?” She agreed and said that I was the only person she’d see that movie with. I took this has a huge compliment.

“You’re seeing that? Like in theaters?”
“Well, yeah,” I said. “I don’t anticipate remembering that Ghoul Clinic exists when it’s time for the DVD release.”
“Why are you seeing it if you don’t think it’s going to be good?”
Some people. Continue reading

Things That Are Making Me Happy This Week

01. Spice World at the Lido. I had no memory of all the insane cameos, or just how bananas the whole thing was. But the best lines went to Roger Moore and in particular his sage pronouncement, “It’s time to hang your pants on the hook of darkness – whether they are clean or not…” (Plus it was so much fun to go to a movie where the audience cheered and clapped). Continue reading

Things That Are Making Me Happy This Week

01. Morning walk was accidentally interrupted by breakfast at Cumulus Inc. (BTW that’s a smoked trout frittata with crème fraiche, and madeleines with bergamot curd in the background). Continue reading