Blog

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

Book review: 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

Book review: 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

Book review: Still Me by Jojo Moyes

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 8th February 2018

Jojo Moyes’s Me Before You was such an extraordinary book that I couldn’t imagine how she’d ever write a follow-up. But then again, lead character Lou Clark was so immensely likeable that readers were desperate to find out how her life panned out after losing Will Traynor, the wheelchair bound city financier she cared for. So Jojo wrote a second novel about Lou, After You, and now there’s a third ...keep reading

Book review: Force of Nature by Jane Harper

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 2nd February 2018

The Dry was one of my favourite books of last year. Jane Harper’s debut had everything I want in a novel – a gripping plot, strong characterisation and a real sense of place. I recommended it to everyone I know. Not surprisingly, I’ve been eagerly anticipating her second book – and the good news is that Force of Nature is out this month. Even better, I’m delighted to report that it’s a ...keep reading

The kindness of Nigella

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Sunday 28th January 2018

My mum interviewed Nigella Lawson countless times – and they got on really well. Her admiration for the domestic goddess grew after my mum accidentally burned her foot on a heater in her London flat. She wrote about the injury in her column and to her astonishment Nigella sweetly sent her a pot of Elizabeth Arden cream that she swore would heal the burn. Sure enough, it did – much ...keep reading

Book review: Anatomy of a Scandal

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Sunday 21st January 2018

The sky is grey, the wind is howling and mist has obliterated our views of the sea. Yes, it’s a miserable January Sunday and the only thing to do is curl up on the sofa and settle down with a good book. Luckily I’m spoilt for choice. Along with Jane Harper’s sequel to The Dry (one of my top reads in 2017), Joanna Cannon’s Three Things About Elsie and Still ...keep reading

The wonderful Eleanor Oliphant

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Sunday 7th January 2018

One of my favourite jobs in recent years was being a judge for the Costa First Novel of the Year award. It was a huge honour to read scores of debut novels and help to whittle them down to a shortlist and then a winner. I love the fact that the Costa Book Awards celebrate the most outstanding and enjoyable books of the year across five categories – novel, first ...keep reading

Nearly Happy New Year

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 28th December 2017

“All good wishes for a peaceful Christmas. Stay safe in 2018 in this strange and troubled world.” That’s what my wise Evening Standard friend David M wrote in his Christmas card and I couldn’t have put it better myself. What an unsettling year 2017 has been. On a personal level there have been highs and lows. The highs included bursting with pride when I saw my son graduate in July, ...keep reading

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