When someone writes well, turning and shaping the words with deft control into an elegant final piece, one may enjoy the result and admire the skill.  Words can be as lumpy as wet clay and just as unmanageable; the product is therefore a measure of the creator.

It may seem a touch incestuous for a writer to review the review of a writer, but I am still feeling very happy to have, over the weekend, stumbled upon Laura Wilkinson’s assessment of Carys Bray’s Scott-Prize-winning short story collection, Sweet Home.  http://laura-wilkinson.co.uk/  What I look for in a book review is a sense of the scope of the work and the lucid but succinct identification of the qualities which define it.  This one does that and also (for me the telling detail) reveals the personal response of the reviewer and her engagement with what she has been reading; it is therefore an excellent encouragement to get hold of the book and read it for oneself.  There is, additionally, an interview with the author and, generously, a link to a fuller and very-well-written review by freelance writer Sarah Schofield.

All this, for free!  As for Sweet Home, money well spent, I think.