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07 July 2019

Book Review: Needlemouse by Jane O’Connor *AD - Gifted

Ebury Press sent me a free review copy of Needlemouse by Jane O’Connor.

After a bit of a rocky start Needlemouse ended up being a charming story of discovery, and I loved the journey that Sylvia took throughout the pages. It's character driven story perfect for long summer evenings.

Needlemouse by Jane O’Connor coverAdd to Goodreads
Time to come out of hibernation...

Sylvia Penton has been hibernating for years, it's no wonder she's a little prickly...

Sylvia lives alone, dedicating herself to her job at the local university. On weekends, she helps out at a local hedgehog sanctuary because it gives her something to talk about on Mondays - and it makes people think she's nicer than she is.

Only Sylvia has a secret: she's been in love with her boss, Professor Lomax, for over a decade now, and she's sure he's just waiting for the right time to leave his wife. Meanwhile she stores every crumb of his affection and covertly makes trouble for anyone she feels gets in his way.

But when a bright new PhD candidate catches the Professor’s eye, Sylvia’s dreams of the fairy tale ending she has craved for so long, are soon in tatters, driving her to increasingly desperate measures and an uncertain future.

Sylvia might have been sleep walking through her life but things are about to change now she’s woken up…

Source: Review copy

5 Words: Family, obsession, jealousy, love, hedgehogs.

Needlemouse is definitely a character driven novel, and it's one of those where nothing really happens when it comes to action, but by the end you've taken quite a journey in terms of growth. It's got a pretty slow pace, but nevertheless I couldn't stop reading.

I found Needlemouse quite a difficult book to get in to, and this was down to the main character,  Sylvia. She's rather bitter and disagreeable, and generally just not a nice person. She's pretty much a straight up bitch for the first half of the book. She's also more than a little bit obsessed with the Prof and it made me feel quite awkward to read at first. Sylvia has a lot of internalised misogyny that made for uncomfortable reading at times, but it made the character seem much more believable and gave added weight to why she was the way she was.

It's a testament to the author's writing that I not only kept reading, but I actually grew to love Sylvia by the end. She has hidden depths and I loved how it all came together. Needlemouse ended up being quite a charming read.

I really loved how I learned a fair bit about hedgehogs while reading this book. A lot of research has obviously gone in to it, and it didn't feel like the author was showing off - what I learned through the characters actions felt very natural.


  1. I've never heard of this book before! Lovely review, Cora!😊

    Shirley |

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  3. Glad you managed to enjoy this book after not liking the main character! I love character driven books so liking the characters is hugely important to me!

  4. This is a lovely review and I now want to know if her boss is in love with her too!

  5. Such a lovely review ��

  6. I love the cover of this book so much! This was a great review! I would love to learn more about hedgehogs haha! That is so much fun.


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