Book Review: Gina Nutt’s Night Rooms is a fascinating blend of horror tropes, poetic prose, and personal reflection

Shopping mall beauty pageants and wedding anniversaries meet true crime and Victorian taxidermy in Night Rooms, a stunning personal essay collection from Gina Nutt.

There’s likely an expectation that, given that she’s writing about it, Nutt’s life is packed with adventure or trauma or something generally monumental. It isn’t. But Night Rooms is no less emotionally resonant for it. Nutt’s relatable recollections are made electric, filled with vivid imagery and unexpected analysis.

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Book Review: Jamie Figueroa captivates with debut novel Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer

Brother, Sister, Mother, Explorer book cover

In the tiny tourist town of Ciudad de Tres Hermanas, brother and sister Rafa and Rufina are slowly unravelling in the aftermath of their mother’s death. But, although Rosalinda has passed away, she is yet to pass on, making her presence known by banging pots and pans and kicking the walls.

Rufina sees and hears her, but Rafa – Rosalinda’s favourite – does not. And he’s taking her death the hardest, slipping away into a darkness Rufina knows he will not return from. So she offers a wager.

If they can make enough money over the next weekend, Rafa can leave this place. Take the cash, head to the islands where he was at his happiest, and save himself from this despair. And if they can’t? Then Rufina will resign herself to whatever path Rafa chooses – wherever it may lead.

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Book Review: Dive in Tola Rotimi Abraham’s stellar debut, Black Sunday

Twin sisters Bibike and Ariyike and their younger brothers Peter and Andrew live a comfortable life in 1990s Lagos. But when their mother loses her job and abandons them, and their father gambles away their home and disappears shortly after, it is the twins who slowly take control of the newly orphaned family’s destiny.

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