Blog

Welcome to House With No Name. I write about everything from books and films to education, family and France.

Friday column: The thriller everyone’s talking about

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 14th September 2018

One of the best things about being a book reviewer is receiving new novels to review (I’m not sure our lovely postman agrees). It’s even better if the novel in question is brilliant, which The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides most definitely is. Michaelides is a successful scriptwriter (his credits include The Devil You Know, starring Rosamund Pike) but The Silent Patient is his first novel. He was inspired to ...keep reading

Book review: Sky’s the Limit by Janie Millman

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 1st September 2018

Janie Millman and her husband Michael Wilson are two of the most life-enhancing people I know. I met them when Janie spoke about her sparkling first novel, Life’s a Drag, at the Purbeck Literary Festival two years ago and they were brilliant company. They regaled us with the story of how they’d bought an 18th century townhouse in south west France on a complete whim after spotting a picture in ...keep reading

Friday column: The end of summer

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 31st August 2018

Exasperated tenants have been venting their anger about having to put up with Dickensian squalor and ruthless landlords. Members of the Generation Rent group asked renters to post their experiences on Twitter using the hashtag #ventyourrent and were inundated with tales of woe. They ranged from stories of damp and mould to a landlord who constructed a glass-bricked room inside the tenant’s flat to sleep in when he visited from ...keep reading

Friday column: Exam results and scary holidays

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 24th August 2018

It was a day I’d been dreading. The lease on my son’s rented house came to an end this week and he asked me to help him move out. He’s fiercely independent and would have done the move by himself – except he’s got mountains of stuff, a turbo trainer and several bikes. He doesn’t have a car and the insurance on hiring a van would be sky-high. But when ...keep reading

Friday column: The Sandbanks to Studland ferry

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 10th August 2018

One of the best things about living by the sea is having to catch a ferry to get home. Sandbanks Ferry clanks back and forth across the entrance to Poole Harbour three times an hour, linking glitzy Sandbanks to peaceful Studland, with its miles of unspoiled, sandy beaches and remote heathland walks. Five years after moving here I’m as fascinated by the ferry as ever. It has been operating since ...keep reading

Friday column: City walks and Enid Blyton

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 3rd August 2018

I like Brigitte Macron. She’s smart, chic and looks like she’d be fun to spend time with. She literally hasn’t put a foot wrong since she moved to the Elysée Palace – a point highlighted by her radical new approach to work meetings. Instead of holding interminable meetings around a boring conference table Mme Macron has introduced the concept of walkabout meetings. With staff from her office at her side, ...keep reading

Love and Ruin by Paula McLain

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 5th June 2018

Martha Gellhorn is an inspired subject for a novel. One of the most legendary war correspondents of the 20th century, she reported on every major conflict during that time, from the Spanish Civil War to Vietnam. At 81, an age when most people are ready to put their feet up, she covered the US invasion of Panama. I’ve always been fascinated by the intrepid Gellhorn’s story – and by her ...keep reading

The House of Hopes and Dreams by Trisha Ashley

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 5th March 2018

Just in time for Mother’s Day comes Trisha Ashley’s entertaining new novel, The House of Hopes and Dreams. The Lancashire-born novelist has garnered plenty of plaudits over the years – Katie Fforde describes her as “one of the best writers around” while Carole Matthews praises her novels as “warmhearted and comforting”. The best thing about Ashley’s writing in my view is that she’s utterly original. She doesn’t follow the crowd, always ...keep reading

A tribute to Penny Vincenzi

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Wednesday 28th February 2018

Tributes to the novelist Penny Vincenzi have poured in following her death this week at the age of 78. Her agent, Clare Alexander, described her as “an irreplaceable friend”, while author Sophie Kinsella said: “She was like one of her novels. Once you were in her company you didn’t want to say goodbye.” They’re fitting words. I was a huge fan of Penny Vincenzi’s novels and was lucky enough to ...keep reading

Book review: A Country Escape by Katie Fforde

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 20th February 2018

February is the perfect month to read a new novel by Katie Fforde. The bestselling author of books like A Summer at Sea and A Secret Garden (out in paperback this month) has the rare knack of creating heartwarming scenarios and characters you really care about. I once said that her characters are the sort of people you want to be your new best friends – and they really are. ...keep reading

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