It's been quite a journey dedicating myself to reading all sixteen novels on The Women's Prize 2018 longlist (although luckily I'd already happened to read a number of them.) But I was glad that this prize pushed me to read some books I've been meaning to get to and try a couple I don't think I would have read otherwise. Even the books on the list which I don't think come together fully like “Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine”, "The Idiot" or “Miss Burma” gave me a lot of interesting things to think about in subject matter and narrative style. Since I read “Sight” before its publication and loved it so much it's been particularly interesting hearing people's more critical reactions it. And I love that this prize introduced me to new novels like "The Trick to Time", "Home Fire" and "The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock" which I'm not sure I would have got to reading otherwise.
Yesterday I met with The Women's Prize shadow panel and spent a fab few hours with Naomi, Eleanor and Antonia at a pub discussing every novel in depth. I was really surprised at how wildly different our opinions were on some books. There were some passionate pleas for novels and big detractors for others, but when it came to whittling down a final list it wasn't that difficult to conclude which ones we collectively agree are the best. However, my personal list would be slightly different. So I'll put photos of both below.
Have you been reading books on the longlist? Which are your favourites? Which don't you think deserve to be there? And which do you hope will be on the shortlist?
I'll be so excited to see what the Women's Prize judges have chosen for the actual shortlist tomorrow evening.