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

Hutchison Street by Abla Farhoud

Translated by Judith Weisz Woodsworth, Hutchison Street (2018, Linda Leith Publishing) is a collection of character sketches spun into a tapestry of interconnected short stories as colourful as the inhabitants of the actual street itself. The book is divided into two parts (like the street itself): The Mile End Side and the Outremont Side. An interlude provides the author a pause to give an explanation of what makes the street so unique:

The houses on Hutchison Street have stayed pretty much the same.… Continue reading

The Pink House and Other Stories by Licia Canton

I enjoy reading short story collections, particularly when there are connections between the stories, for instance, reoccurring characters. Such is the case in Licia Canton’s The Pink House and Other Stories (2018, Longbridge Books), her second collection of short fiction.

The two main characters throughout the majority of the stories are Rita, an Italian-Canadian, and an unnamed woman who gets struck by a car outside the Bell Centre in Montreal.… Continue reading

The Art and Passion of Guido Nincheri by Mélanie Grondin

The beauty of many old churches (particularly cathedrals, basilicas, etc.) is in their architecture as well as in their religious art, whether it is the many large frescoes or the exquisite stained glass windows that adorn them. The late (1885-1973) Italian-Canadian artist and stained glass master Guido Nincheri has enjoyed a recent resurgence of interest, thanks to his grandson Roger Bocchini Nincheri who has been tirelessly photographing and cataloging his grandfather’s hundreds of existing works.… Continue reading