Review: Barnhill by Norman Bissell

Barnhill: A Novel
Author: Norman Bissell
Publisher: Luath Press
Released: May 6, 2019
Received: NetGalley

4 kitties

Are you more than a little bit obsessed with George Orwell’s 1984? Well then, you’re going to enjoy reading Barnhill: A Novel.

Norman Bissell’s novel takes place at Barnhill – the location that George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair) famously tucked himself away in – and the birthplace of 1984. Essentially, Barnhill is a dramatization of George Orwell’s time there and the creation of a novel that will always resonate with its readers.


Like me, you might be wondering where Barnhill is actually located. Barnhill is on the Isle of Jura, Scotland. If you look up the photos, it looks appropriately isolated but also oddly striking and comforting. I can see why an author would seek peace and solitude here.

Maybe it’s because I don’t read too many historical fiction novels (at least not without a fantasy twist – what can I say, I have a preference), but I’m struggling to find words to describe this novel.

It’s informative and interesting, much like a biography or autobiography. I’d recommend it for fans of the author, though perhaps those that already know every detail of his life would be annoyed by this portrayal. I’m not sure.

Overall, I enjoyed Barnhill and what I was able to glean from its telling. Though it does make me want to reread 1984, something I’ve been craving anyway.

Thanks to Luath Press and #NetGalley for making this book available for review. All opinions expressed are my own.

About Liz (AKA Cat)

I am an avid animal lover, photographer, reader, and much more. While my photography blog is feeling a bit neglected at the moment, the other sites I'm involved in are going strong. ✧I review books, comics, and basically anything else in the literary world over at Quirky Cat's Fat Stacks (of Books). ✧I review comics and books, as well as write content for Word of the Nerd. ✧I review comics for Monkeys Fighting Robots. ✧I write content for Screen Rant and CBR. ✧I write book reviews for The Review Crew.
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