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THREADS: THE DELICATE LIFE OF JOHN CRASKE BY JULIA BLACKBURN (Jonathan Cape, hardback PS25, ebook PS13.99) ..... JOHN CRASKE was a Norfolk fisherman born in 1881. In 1917 he fell seriously ill with a mysterious condition which left him in an intermittent "stuporous state" for the rest of his life.

In 1925, he felt a sudden urge to start painting, and from then on spent all his lucid moments covering every surface he could find with pictures of boats and his beloved East Anglian coastline. Later he took to embroidery and crafted many fine marine tapestries. His deceptively simple work looks set to emerge from decades of neglect with a new exhibition and with this unorthodox biography that is part memoir, part travelogue and part eulogy.

THE LOST CHILD BY CARYL PHILLIPS (Oneworld Publications, hardback PS14.99, ebook PS11.39) ..... WEST Indies-born writer Caryl Phillips cleverly stitches together narratives, imagining the early years of Wuthering Heights' Heathcliff, interweaving them with the Sixties-set story of dreamer and social recluse Monica who drops out of Oxford and cuts all ties with her parents after falling for Caribbean graduate Julius. The eventual acceptance of their failed marriage sees her head back north, with her two young sons. The brooding landscapes of the moors merge two reflective tales of a sense of place and home. A beautiful but haunting read.

ADELINE: A NOVEL OF VIRGINIA WOOLF BY NORAH VINCENT (Virago, hardback PS14.99, ebook PS7.99) ..... SPANNING 1925 to 1941, this richly imagined novel 'of' Virginia Woolf delves deep into her psyche. An exploration of the events that led to Woolf's eventual suicide, the book is haunted by Adeline (Woolf's given first name), realised here as a 13-year-old apparition of herself, beckoning her towards her eventual death. This does give the novel a desperately sad insight into Woolf's mental state, but is, for this reader at least, the book's undoing.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Apr 12, 2015
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