A microbrewery for book-lovers

The Blackbird: a round robin

Our first Blog Tour has been a huge success thanks to these wonderful reviewers:

Claire Allen really nails what it’s like to Care for someone… Her descriptions throughout the book are just so perfect.

Years Of Reading Selfishly

Claire Allen also did a short reading, our thanks go to Clare Reynolds for broadcasting this via Instagram here

Jealousy and blame pervade… Layered and nuanced yet never heavy, a good read that I am happy to recommend.


We also did an interview with Jackie Law about the making of the book. From the handmade cement paper covers to the illustrations and typesetting inside.

Any new book from HFP is cause for a celebration. As an object it’s a book of quite outstanding beauty, like all HFP publications… Claire Allen’s prose is both plain and simple (in the very best senses), and very frequently piercing. This is a beautiful novel, generous and humane in range and depth.

David Collard – Salvete!

There’s loss, heart-break, turmoil, grief wrapped in its pages, but it’s also a story of how the past remains within us, construction of the physical and the spiritual, and how relationships form and break. I loved this historical character led novel and would highly recommend it.


The above link also leads to a conversation between Claire Allen and Dr Sophie Oliver, lecturer in English at Liverpool University. Generously hosted by Leigh.

The Blackbird is preoccupied with construction, with building things, but also with things being destroyed.

Dr Sophie Oliver

Claire Allen’s writing is cinematic. I could picture every character, scene and action clearly… The Blackbird is a work of art, filled with top quality print and gorgeous illustrations but also has a strong story to complement the high aesthetics.

The Bobsphere

It’s clear that, in spite of living in the type of housing that various sections of society would turn their nose up at, [Louise] feels safe. I thought the fact that Benny (who poses a palpable threat to her safety) is positioned as a boy who is from both a different area and a privileged background, was really powerful. It serves as a potent reminder that violence, in all its forms, is not restricted to working class males.

Sarah Crewe in conversation with Claire Allen

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