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

West of Wawa by Lisa de Nikolits

Since the author personally sent me this book to review, I am hesitant to say anything bad about it, but I thought the story was going to be different somehow. I was under the impression that this novel was about a woman’s journey across Canada to ‘find herself’ and that the subject matter would be deeper journey into the human psyche. Instead, this is pretty much straight up Chick Lit (not that there is anything wrong with that), but I found it (as a male) difficult to read.… Continue reading

Like Any Other Monday by Binnie Brennan Review|Interview

Like Any Other Monday is Halifax author Binnie Brennan's first novel, and it is an impressive one. Its 200+ pages are filled with a wondrous, meticulously researched story set in a time period that has practically been forgotten: the American Vaudeville era, and is loosely based on the life of Buster Keaton. The author also agreed to be interviewed by The Miramichi Reader about the book, her influences and her other interests.

A Certain Grace by Binnie Brennan

Every night before turning out the lights, I do a little reading. Last night I finished A Certain Grace (2012, Quattro) by Halifax author Binnie Brennan. I quickly came to the conclusion that I shouldn’t read short stories before bed, especially the type that Ms. Brennan writes. Oh, not that they are scary in any way. I can sleep quite easily after reading H.P. Lovecraft! No, her short stories are of the type that keep the wheels turning in the mind long after you put the book down.… Continue reading