Melba’s Wash by Reesa Steinman Brotherton

Grand Manan Island is part of the province of New Brunswick and has a population of just over 2,000 (as of 2016). It is also the setting for Melba’s Wash by Reesa Steinman Brotherton, who was born in New Brunswick, and whose own story slightly follows that of Esther, the main protagonist.

It’s difficult to summarize the storyline of Melba’s Wash. As I was reading it, I couldn’t help but think of Eric Dupont’s Songs for the Cold of Heart: both have similar plots, spanning generations and various settings, and with a mirthful undertone for what is a dramatic story full of poverty, teen pregnancies, more pregnancies, deaths and secrets, lots of secrets.… Continue reading

Summer Shortlisting 2019: Best Fiction!

What a reading year it has been! I actually tried to read less this year, in an attempt to concentrate more on reading books more deliberately hoping to write a better review. I’m not sure how successful that was, but by being more “choosy” about what I read (and the books I select and agree to read) I was able to concentrate more fully on some great titles from 2018/2019.… Continue reading

The Forbidden Dreams of Betsy Elliot by Carolyn R. Parsons

The Forbidden Dreams of Betsy Elliot is Carolyn R. Parson’s debut novel for Newfoundland and Labrador’s Flanker Press, and she joins such authors as Ida Linehan Young and Gary Collins as storytellers of the first rank. It is set in 1933-34 in the outport community of Elliot’s Cove just after the Commission of Government took over control of Newfoundland’s governing at the start of the Great Depression.… Continue reading

Blindshot by Denis Coupal

On the cover of Blindshot is the silhouette of a crow, which is significant for, near the beginning of the story, a crow flies into the massive window of Valhalla, the country estate of Paul and Catherine Carignan, located in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. This can be taken as a bad omen, and Catherine quickly finds the injured bird and places it near the woodpile for it to either fly away if better, or die in peace.… Continue reading

The Promise by Ida Linehan Young

Newfoundland’s Flanker Press has been publishing books by some of that province’s best storytellers and Ida Linehan Young must be added to that esteemed company with the release of her latest book, The Promise. It is a follow-up of sorts (but not a sequel) to Being Mary Ro, her best-selling debut novel. Mary Ro is back, but in the supporting cast as young Erith Lock takes centre stage as the protagonist of this story. … Continue reading