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.
TVJamie's Sugar Rush reveal's campaigning chef's new foe
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Refugee crisis: Sweden the only European country with a majority favourable towards non-EU immigration
- 2 'Heartbreaking' Syria orphan photo wasn't taken in Syria and not of orphan
- 3 Malnourished two-year-old found being breastfed by dog in Chile
- 4 Bob Geldof offers to take four refugee families into his home 'immediately' as he condemns humanitarian crisis as a ‘f**king disgrace'
- 5 YouTube video shows woman verbally abusing takeaway staff 'because they used green peppers'
Anne Hathaway is already being stung by Hollywood ageism, aged 32
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series
The Lobster trailer: Colin Farrell has 45 days to find a lover or he'll be turned into an animal
Spanish town saved by botched restoration of century-old Christian 'Ecce Homo' fresco of Jesus
'Beasts of No Nation': Netflix releases trailer of first feature film, starring Idris Elba
Britain to take more refugees as Cameron bows to pressure after more than 250,000 back our campaign
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches – it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don't change Europe's attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Make your voice heard: Sign The Independent's petition to welcome refugees