Quarry by Catherine Graham

Acclaimed poet Catherine Graham’s debut novel Quarry (2017, Two Wolves Press) is the type of story that takes me back to two places: my high school English class and my family’s summer cottage. Firstly, it is exactly the type of book that our English teacher would have had us read as a class, then dissect and/or write a book review of. Very much like we did with The Stone Angel and The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz.… Continue reading

The Honey Farm by Harriet Alida Lye

Alida Lye is a writer from Richmond Hill, Ontario. Now living in Toronto, she works at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection. The Honey Farm is her first novel. (Note: this review is based on an Advance Reading Copy supplied by the publisher.

If you like novels that have:

  • Old Testament references and symbolism
  • a sweet love story
  • characters with a certain mystique about them
  • idyllic and remote setting
  • strange occurrences

If you answered “yes” to some or all of the above, then you will enjoy The Honey Farm (2018, Vagrant Press).… Continue reading

The Street of Butterflies by Mehri Yalfani

Yalfani was born in Hamadan, Iran. She immigrated to Canada in 1987 with her family and has been writing and publishing ever since.

The Street of Butterflies (2017, Inanna Publications) goes well with another book of short fiction I recently reviewed (also from Inanna), Outside People. They are stories told from the point of view of those that have left their birth country for Canada, or have chosen to stay while others have left looking for more freedom and other opportunities.… Continue reading

No Fury Like That by Lisa de Nikolits

“Each of us is a seeker, walking along Eternity’s Road, which has no beginning and no end.”
—Sri Chinmoy

An apt quote to begin a review concerning a book that deals with aspects of eternity, and whatever your belief (or beliefs) are, you may have to suspend them temporarily to fully enjoy this new offering from Lisa de Nikolits, author of 2016’s  The Nearly Girl (Inanna) as well as the award-winning Between the Cracks She Fell (2015, Inanna).… Continue reading

Under the Zaboca Tree by Glynis Guevara

Guevara was born in Barataria, Trinidad. She was shortlisted for the Small Axe Literary short fiction prize in 2012 and was also a finalist for the inaugural Burt Award for Caribbean Literature in 2014. She currently lives in Toronto where she works as an adult literacy and ESL instructor.

Under the Zaboca Tree (2017, Inanna Publications) is a Young Adult (YA) book that tells the story of Baby Girl (Melody) Sparks, and her trip to Trinidad and Tobago with her father Smokey (Nicholas) who has sole custody of her.… Continue reading

Mountain by Ursula Pflug

Ursula Pflug is the award-winning author of the novels Green Music; The Alphabet Stones and the story collections After the Fires and Harvesting the Moon. She has been shortlisted or nominated for many awards and currently lives in Norwood, Ontario. Her latest novel is Mountain (2017, Inanna Publications)

Mountain is a novel (but at only 98 pages, more of a novella) that tells the story of seventeen-year-old Camden O’Connor, a girl who lives in two worlds due to her parents’ separation.… Continue reading

The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes by Bridget Canning

If F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby defined a time period, then Bridget Canning’s The Greatest Hits of Wanda Jaynes is a book defined by a time period, and that time period is now. 2017. Technology and social media figure so prominently in Wanda Jaynes that this book could not have been written 10 or 15 years ago, for 2007 was still the email age; texting, YouTube, and the rise of the ubiquitous smartphone were yet to come.… Continue reading

Pink Chimneys by Ardeana Hamlin

Pink Chimneys could well be the quintessential “Maine” historic novel in that it describes life in the Bangor region in the early 1800s when the city was being developed as a primary port for shipping and other businesses. Originally released in 1987, Islandport Press has released the 30th-anniversary edition of Pink Chimneys with a new forward by the author, who states:

“I don’t know what has given Pink Chimneys its longevity, but I believe readers find in the story something that moves them, that makes them care about Maude, Fanny and Elizabeth…..Something in the story stirs in readers a sense of historical place, particularly as it concerns women and the Bangor region.Continue reading