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

The Squash Court: my new favourite shop

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Saturday 23rd April 2016

When I was a teenager all the cool girls at my school lived in Wimborne. They wore the chicest clothes, shopped at Chelsea Girl in Bournemouth on Saturdays (the height of sophistication) and unlike the rest of us knew enough boys to invite a whole load of them to parties. So it was a bit of a surprise when I moved back to Dorset to find that Wimborne is actually ...keep reading

Happy 90th birthday to the Queen

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 21st April 2016

How appropriate on the Queen’s 90th birthday to receive the brand-new paperback edition of one of my favourite children’s books – The Queen’s Handbag by Steve Antony. It’s even more appropriate considering that little Mia Tindall, Princess Anne’s granddaughter, stole the show in Annie Liebovitz’s stunning portrait of the Queen with seven of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. How? Because in an apparently unscripted moment, she picked up her great-granny’s £1,000 ...keep reading

Book review: All at Sea by Decca Aitkenhead

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 15th April 2016

“On a hot still morning on a beautiful beach in Jamaica, Decca Aitkenhead’s life changed for ever.” So runs the blurb for All at Sea, Decca Aitkenhead’s haunting memoir about her late partner Tony Wilkinson. This remarkable book recounts his early life (he was adopted by a white couple and grew up in Leeds) and his transformation from a dreadlocked criminal with a history of drug dealing and violence to a much-loved ...keep reading

Book review: Missing, Presumed

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 12th April 2016

Barely a week goes by without a new crime novel being tipped for bestsellerdom. Now, following in the footsteps of The Girl on the Train, The Widow and I Let You Go comes another one – and trust me, Missing, Presumed by Susie Steiner is a surefire winner. There’s no doubt that Steiner’s second novel is pacy, compelling and very well written ­ but what makes it stand out from the ...keep reading

Meg Rosoff wins Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Wednesday 6th April 2016

Congratulations to Meg Rosoff, who has won the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the world’s biggest prize for children’s and young adult literature. The £430,000 award, which honours the entire body of Rosoff’s work, is hugely deserved. The jury’s citation reads as follows:“Meg Rosoff’s young adult novels speak to the emotions as well as the intellect. In sparkling prose, she writes about the search for meaning and identity in a peculiar and bizarre ...keep reading

Book review: The Lion Inside

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Thursday 17th March 2016

The very best picture books for young children have a crystal clear message at their heart. And that’s what makes The Lion Inside by Rachel Bright and Jim Field a real winner. It’s a sweet story, told in rhyme, about a tiny mouse who lives under a rock and is ignored by everyone he encounters. Worse still, he’s trodden on, sat on and has no friends at all. But in ...keep reading

Seaside life

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Tuesday 15th March 2016

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. Three years after moving here I’m as fascinated by the ferry as ever. It has been operating since ...keep reading

The kindness of strangers: part 3

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 14th March 2016

The alarm bells started ringing when my son FaceTimed me from France in the middle of the day. I usually ring him, not the other way round, and we mostly speak in the early evening – so I knew something was up. I was right to be worried. It turned out that his bike chain had snapped when he was cycling at top speed, sending him crashing to the ground and damaging his shoulder, arm and ...keep reading

Jill Mansell talks about her new novel

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Monday 29th February 2016

A grand, redbrick hotel on a cliff overlooking the sea. Yes, the scene was like something out of a novel – which was rather appropriate considering we were all there to hear author Jill Mansell talk about her new book, You and Me, Always. The event was part of the Purbeck Literary Festival and Jill had driven through the wilds of the Somerset and Dorset countryside to meet scores of her ...keep reading

Born Survivors: a very special book

Published by Emma Lee-Potter in on Friday 26th February 2016

The most memorable hour of the week was spent listening to author Wendy Holden talk about her unforgettable book, Born Survivors. Wendy, a close friend from our Evening Standard days, has written more than thirty books during her career but this one is special. A harrowing account of bravery and love in the midst of unimaginable cruelty, Born Survivors tells the story of three young women sent to Auschwitz II-Birkenau in ...keep reading

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