A Circle on the Surface by Carol Bruneau

Carol Bruneau’s award-winning 2017 book of short stories, A Bird on Every Tree was excellent and well received (“Her exceptional prose reveals how much there is to discover in the every day” raved Publishersweekly.com), it merely whetted our appetites for one of her full-length works like Glass Voices (2007) or These Good Hands (2015).… Continue reading

Watermark by Jennifer Farquhar

When I was a young lad, my parents owned a cottage that fronted on a small lake in South Eastern Ontario. While I swam in the water by day, I never ventured near the shore at night. That was when all kinds of things came forth out of the depths to languish on the shore – or so my young mind reasoned.… Continue reading

Through Sunlight and Shadows by Raymond Fraser

New Brunswick author Ramond Fraser’s fourteenth book of fiction is an all-new volume of “memoirs” of his fictional/semi-autobiographical character, Walt Macbride. While regular readers of Mr. Fraser’s will be familiar with Walt in all his manifestations, his youngest days growing up in Bannonbridge (an alias for Chatham, NB) are lesser-known.… Continue reading

The Land’s Long Reach by Valerie Mills-Milde

This is the book that I was awaiting from Valerie Mills-Milde. I had to patiently wait two years from the time that her exceptional debut novel After Drowning (2016, Inanna Publications) was released. That book won a 2017 IPPY Silver Medal for Contemporary Fiction.… Continue reading

Explosions by Mathieu Poulin (Translated by Aleshia Jensen)

Micheal Bay and the Pyrotechnics of the Imagination, you may, at first glance think this is an authorized biography of the acclaimed action film director and producer of such movies as Bad Boys, Armageddon and Transformers.  A closer look at the cover reveals the disclaimer: “A Novel.” So what we have here is a fictional story built around real people and events, an approach that movie enthusiast and first-time Quebec author Mathieu Poulin manages to carry off beautifully in Explosions (2018, QC Fiction, originally published in 2015 as Des Explosions), which has been scrupulously translated from French by Aleshia Jensen.*

The main premise in Explosions is that Michael Bay considers himself an intellectual director whose films traverse deep philosophical territory, as he explains to his ex-girlfriend, Daphné who is unconvinced:

“My films are essays on serious and complex topics.… Continue reading

The Light a Body Radiates by Ethel Whitty

At fifty-eight pages into The Light a Body Radiates by Ethel Whitty (2018, Caitlin Press), Eileen Macpherson’s grandmother tells her:

“If you’re a storyteller, it’s your job to make it a story that wants to be told. Where we come from, the one who always keeps the stories is the granddaughter.” Then she murmured, “You can be that granddaughter to me.” In response to the confusion she read on my face, she continued in a less conspiratorial tone, “Don’t worry, they’ll be good stories.”

The Light a Body Radiates comprises a good story in its 280+ pages.… Continue reading