Wake the Stone Man by Carol McDougall

Wake the Stone Man (2015, Roseway Publishing) is Nova Scotia author Carol McDougall’s latest novel and it is a very thought-provoking one. It won the 2013 Beacon Award for social justice literature, which is a prize for an unpublished novel. The issue of the mistreatment of Aboriginal children in residential schools set up by the Canadian government almost 100 years ago has been in the news for many years now as new facts come to light and the survivors are telling their stories.… Continue reading

Formac’s Fiction Treasures Series

This week I received two novels in the Formac Fiction Treasure series: Under Sealed Orders by H.A. Cody and A Changed Heart by May Agnes Fleming.

Formac’s site explains the need for reprinting these all-but-forgotten classics from Canada’s past:

Though little known today, from 1860 to 1940 Canadian novelists from the Maritime provinces were writing highly successful books which were widely read in Canada, the US, and Britain.… Continue reading

Finding Woods by Matt Mott

It has been quite some time since I have read any 'modern' horror novels. Back in my younger years I was quite a fan of Stephen King, but as I got older my reading tastes changed to literature and history with the occasional novel or book of short stories thrown in for variety. Recently I was alerted to the fact that a Miramichi resident (who has since moved to Saint John) has written a book that I should take a look at. I was able to get a review copy of Finding Woods by Matt Mott (2014, Montag Press) from the author himself.

Harbour View by Binnie Brennan

Harbour View (2009, Quattro Books) deals with the small inner world of a Halifax nursing home (called Harbour View Centre) in which each character adds notes of wistfulness, sadness, lightheartedness, even tragedy to be combined in a singular literary-musical tapestry that reaches through to the heart and to the mind.  Ms. Brennan’s follow-up volume of short stories, A Certain Grace (2012 Quattro Books) and most recently, a novel, Like any Other Monday (2014, Gaspereau Press) are equally as impressive, firmly establishing Ms.… Continue reading

Fight Back by Brent R. Sherrard

Fight Back by Brent R. Sherrard is a Young Adult (YA) novel in the SideStreets series produced by Lorimer Publishing. They are described as: “edgy, fast-paced novels that combine real-world themes and believable characters to make for short, heart-stopping books — sure to engage the most reluctant reader.” This is the first book I have read of the series and I believe it fits Lorimer’s description quite well.… Continue reading

Drive-by Saviours by Chris Benjamin

Drive-by Saviours by Chris Benjamin (2010, Roseway Publishing) is the first novel from this Halifax writer. It is a fascinating, complex story involving two men from two different worlds, Mark in Toronto, Canada and Bumi in Makassar, Indonesia. Being an expatriate Torontonian living on the East Coast, I am naturally drawn to any story with Toronto in it. It is a difficult city to describe, but Mark attempts it stating: “Toronto is everything good and everything bad about a city.… Continue reading