Saturday 18 March 1995
Cruel posh girls, lads in flat caps, freshly scrubbed front steps and long-suffering mothers - but it's all too late. You have to be 13 to abandon yourself to the world of Catherine Cookson. In this, her latest novel (she's written nearly 100), the handsome Geoff Fulton returns from the war to discover that Lizzie, a young girl he once saved from the "worst peril", has now grown into a beautiful young woman. Like DH Lawrence on a low heat - after a few pages you start wishing for something more fanciful to pop up . . . just like you did at 13.
A MATCH TO THE HEART by Gretel Ehrlich, Fourth Estate £9.99
This study of the phenomenon of lightning bristles with information and charts the physical repercussions of electrocution with good-humoured detachment. Along the way, myths are debunked (lightning loves to strike the same place twice since it can follow the same ionised channel), and facts and figures are aired: flashes hit the earth 100 times a second and kill more people than any other natural phenomenon; 600 people die each year from lightning strikes in the US. Most memorably, Ehrlich describes the effect of having 30 million volts pass through you: "Nerves are like wet noodles . . . after electrocution they are more like cooked spaghetti".
THE ART OF THE BRONTS by Christine Alexander and Jane Sellars, Cambridge £55
Everyone knows the Bronts were geniuses as writers, but what about their paintings and drawings? This expensively produced volume confirms that, despite their enthusiasm for art, their talents were less visual than verbal. Though the pictures themselves (including watercolour landscapes and lurid images of the heroes and heroines who peopled their famous fantasy worlds) are rather disappointing, the book is illuminating from a biographical viewpoint: that Charlotte exhibited her pictures in Leeds, for example, contradicts the traditional belief that the Bronts were cut off from civilisation.
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin file for divorce after 10 years of marriage
- 2 Rarest Beanie Baby bought for just £10 at car boot sale could be sold for £62,500 on eBay
- 3 Katie Hopkins and The Sun editor David Dinsmore reported to police for incitement to racial hatred following migrant boat column
- 4 Bookies now say Ed Miliband is more likely to be prime minister than David Cameron
- 5 Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
Safe House, TV review: Plenty of teasers to keep us guessing but spare us the cliches
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Star Wars: Rogue One trailer: Watch the teaser for the Jedi-less Death Star heist film
Avengers Age of Ultron 'after credits' scene leaks online days before cinema release
Louis Tomlinson is launching his own record label and has already 'signed two acts'
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Katie Hopkins on LBC: Listen to caller taking The Sun columnist to task over migrant comments