Photowall Canvas Print Review + Exclusive Discount Code

I’m constantly picking up cute home wear pieces to update our living room.  However, I’ve struggled to find some wall art to fill a large area above our sideboard. That was until Photowall contacted me and I now have a beautiful canvas print adorning my wall!

Photowall is a Swedish company providing bespoke wallpaper murals and canvases. The company has strong eco-friendly values and every item is made to order. This ensures that there’s no waste which is a win-win!

You can transform your own photos into wall art or choose from the huge catalogue of designs. Alongside global artists, there are also licensed brands such as Disney and Moomin characters.

After browsing through the extensive range of photos and designs, I finally chose the Green Barley Field canvas image. You can customise the canvas to the shape and dimensions that you require. This was great, because the image was originally square but I wanted the canvas to be rectangular to fit above our long sideboard. Even if you’re not using your own photography, it’s still possible to really personalise your canvas.

The canvas itself is thick and very good quality. It arrived safely rolled along with the frame and fixings ready for me to assemble. Making up the frame was super quick and easy. You simply stick the wooden lengths to the precut canvas, fold them towards the center and finally bolt them together with corner brackets. It’s then ready to hang on your wall! (Although we’re possibly moving later in the year, so to minimise filling holes in the walls our canvas is propped up for now).

Overall, I’m really pleased with how the canvas looks! I love that the space above our sideboard feels completed. I’d definitely recommend sizing up, it makes such an impact in our living room.

Grab yourself 20% off with the code CatherineBraithwaiteCampaign2018! Offer ends 30th March.

The Wish Child by Catherine Chidgey | Book Review

I'm a big fan of historical fiction and one of my favourite eras to read about is World War II. I’ve always been fascinated by my family’s own stories and equally love hearing other people’s. The Wish Child is set in Germany and spans the rise and fall of the Nazi party. We follow two children, whose lives come to intertwine forever.

The Wish Child by Catherine Chidgey | Book Review

Erich lives on a rural farm near Leipzig and his experience of the war is very different to middle class Berliner Sieglinde’s. Each child’s life gradually becomes harder. The prosperity and dedication we see at the beginning of the novel becomes desperation and pain. Food is scarce, opinions about the government change and family members are missing.

Catherine Chidgey lived for two years in Berlin in the early 90s. Her personal experience enriches the novel. The writing and descriptions are immersive so you really get a feel for what living in Germany during the war was really like. The novel is well researched and beautifully written. The lives of ordinary families are peppered with quotes from songs and speeches of the time. This blurs the reader’s reality with that of the characters.

The novel is relayed to us via an anonymous narrator who seems to watch over Erich and Sieglinde. It is only during the last section of the novel when the narrator’s identity is revealed and everything instantly makes sense. I found this last section to be the most enjoyable and appreciated the faster pace. After reading the ending I immediately wanted to re-read. To experience the rest of the novel with the knowledge I had gleaned from the end.

I have to admit that whilst reading, I felt frustrated at the pace and was a little lost at points. The dramatic change of pace and unravelling of mysteries that make up the book’s conclusion was unsettling. It was for this reason that I immediately gave it a three-star rating. However, upon reflection, I really appreciate the quality of the writing and this is an important story that needs to be shared. I’ve recently amended my rating to four stars.

I learnt so much about the everyday German’s experience of the war, alongside horrific facts detailing the grim reality of the Nazi party’s ambition. I would definitely recommend The Wish Child if you have an interest in the second world war, or if you enjoy well written family sagas.

The Wish Child by Catherine Chidgey
Published by Vintage / Chatto & Windus
E-book copy provided by Vintage via NetGalley

The Power by Naomi Alderman | Book Review

Naomi Alderman’s fourth novel, The Power, has been selected as this year’s winner for the Baileys Women’s Prize for fiction. I decided to pick up a copy the morning after the winner’s announcement, curious to discover what this novel had to make it stand out for the judges.

The Power Book Review

In The Power, Alderman imagines that women suddenly find that they can conduct electricity through their hands. This changes everything. Women are now physically stronger than men. The global consequences that follow are life changing and catastrophic. The speculative premise of the book is what intrigued me. It sounds like a Margaret Atwood wrote a Marvel comic.

The book explores different aspects of power and how different women react to each one. The characters contend with political power, physical strength and religious influence. There are deaths, riots and rapes. Some scenes are particularly detailed and difficult to read. Immediately after reading these, I couldn’t help but draw parallels to the real world. Why is more shocking when we are presented with a world in which women are the perpetrators of these atrocities?

I’m a fan of dystopian fiction. Novels are often set in the reader’s present and The Power is no different. There are constant references to our world and popular culture. It’s the first novel I’ve read which mentions Primark! This allows Alderman’s imagined events to be all the more shocking.

I did enjoy the book and found it to be a real page turner. However, I do have some issues with the structure. The tale is told from various viewpoints, mainly four characters. It is also set up as a fictitious novel and is sandwiched between email correspondence at the beginning and end. These elements did take away some of my enjoyment. I think a more detailed single person narrative would have drawn me in more.

Overall, I’m glad I read it. The story is engaging and being able to dip into Alderman’s imagination was a treat!