Wednesday 26 August 2015

Blog Tour: Higher Ed by Tessa McWatt ( and Giveaway)

Jaffareadstoo is delighted to be part of this exciting Blog Tour

TESSA McWATT was born in Guyana, grew up in Canada, and has been living and working in London for nearly two decades. She is the author of five earlier novels; her second, Dragons Cry, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction and the City of Toronto Book Awards. Her most recent novel, Vital Signs, was nominated for the 2012 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature. She developed and leads the MA in Writing: Imaginative Practice at the University of East London.


Published 27 August 

London. Now. And here come the new Londoners.

Francine would prefer to be thinner, but is happy enough to suffer her boss' manhandling of her ample hips if it helps her survive the next cull in Quality Assurance. She just wishes she could get the dead biker's crushed face out of her mind's eye.

Robin is having a baby with the wrong woman, wishes he were with the perfect Polish waitress instead, leans hard on Deleuze for understanding, and wonders if his work in film will continue to be valued by the university management.

Olivia is angry — angry with her layabout mother, with her too-casual BFF, and with her own timidity and anxiety. Perhaps the wisest of her lecturers will help? Knowledge is power, right? And she's beautiful when she's angry.

Ed wishes he’d never gone back to Guyana to help his rass brother as it lost him his mini-Marilyn wife and the possibility of watching his only child grow up — until someone surprising crops up at the crematorium.

Katrin is starting not to miss Gdansk or Mamunia so much, and starting to understand London living. But if she works and hopes harder, maybe she’ll secure a full British future for herself and her mother with the Good Englishman.

The five of them cross paths and cross swords to bring London living unforgettably to life. Real London lives.

My thoughts about Higher Ed

This is an interesting novel about the unpredictability of modern life, all brought together by the unique perspective of five very different people, all with complex stories to tell.

Their individual stories are told in short and snappy chapters. We get to know them as people and learn about what makes them act in the way they do. Some of them are not always very likeable, but their collective stories really make you think about the vagaries of modern lives. Inevitably, they are all connected in some way, the reasons why they are linked becomes apparent as the story progresses.

Initially, I felt that the story got off to a bit of a slow start and I found that I needed to pay particular attention on who was who, which for a time spoiled my enjoyment, but then about a third of the way into the novel, and as I became more comfortable with the characters, I started to become more involved in the story itself. In many ways, it's a story about London and about how it functions as a city and of how it works as a huge melting pot for people from so many different backgrounds. And yet, it is also a story about the complexities of human nature, and of the tenuous ties that bind us together, and also of the wretched situations that people can find themselves caught up in.

Overall, I think that Higher Ed was a well written and intelligently thought out novel. It's a slow burner rather than all action but it's nicely observed and certainly kept me entertained whilst at the same time made me look at things in an different way.

My thanks to the author and  to Molly at Scribe Publications for inviting Jaffareadstoo to be part of this exciting blog tour 

and for offering the chance for one lucky UK winner to have their own copy of Higher ED in this fabulous Giveaway.



  1. THanks Josie for the oppurtunity xxxx

    1. Hi Marie - thanks for visiting and entering the giveaway. Good Luck :)

  2. Hi, I'm Rachel! This book sounds very interesting

    1. Hi Rachel - welcome to Jaffareadstoo. Lovely to see you here and best of luck in the giveaway :)

  3. Hi, I'm Alison .. keen reader, really like this book cover. Thanks for the chance to win :)

    1. Hi Alison - nice to see another keen reader. Thanks for your visit and good luck in the giveaway :)


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