What’s that you’re reading ? – Ms. Haylett – Teacher of English, Senior School


What are you reading at the moment/What was the last book you read? 

“The Five – The untold lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper” by Hallie Rubenhold 

Give a brief synopsis. What’s the main message of the book? 

It is the devastating narrative of the lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper. Their histories and deaths have often been misrepresented and this book seeks to right these wrongs.  

Would you recommend it to the Downsend community and why?

I would recommend it thoroughly to anyone with an interest in the Victorian era as it’s a fascinating insight to the period of time everyone thinks they know a lot about. (It’s definitely an adult-only book though!) 

Do you see elements of yourself in any of the characters?

NA as it’s non-fiction.

 Did it make you cry? Or laugh? Or think?

It certainly made me cry. These women’s lives were just so tragic.  


Please share your favourite quote, or a short extract from the book. She would have been better off with his sisters’ devotion, John would have reasoned, and perhaps might even stand a chance of recovering. With the support of her beloved family, Annie might just be all right.  

Why/when do you read?

I read before going to sleep as it’s so relaxing. I wish I had more time to read! 

How does reading help you?

It gives me an escapism from real life.  

Is there a particular genre of book you find yourself drawn to?

I like almost everything! However, I do enjoy a good fantasy novel.  

What is your favourite children’s book?

My favourite book as a child (and remains my favourite!) is “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott 

Name a book that’s had a lasting impression on you and explain why?     

“If this is a man/The Truce” by Primo Levi which is about his first hand experiences of Auschwitz. It’s a heart-breaking book that will stay with me forever. 




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