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. Of After Drowning, I stated: “After Drowning is an intriguing, well-paced and mysteriously captivating story of everyday lives impacted by tragic events and the collateral damage they inflict as well as the long road back to recovery and reconciliation.” In a sense, The Land’s Long Reach is also a captivating story of lives impacted by tragic events (WWI, domestic violence) and the collateral damage inflicted (mental, medical and psychological stress, strained family relationships) on each and every character. … Continue reading

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

Brother by David Chariandy

The following review is by Naomi MacKinnon of Consumed by Ink, and is reproduced here with her kind permission.

you’re looking for that one beautiful gem, David Chariandy’s Brother just might be it. It’s raw and honest, and the writing is as smooth as silk.

Michael and his older brother Francis are close as they grow up in 1980s Scarborough, the sons of a single hard-working mother from Trinidad.… Continue reading

After Drowning by Valerie Mills-Milde

This is Valerie Mills-Milde’s debut novel and it is a superb one. Located on the north shore of Lake Erie where there was once a thriving freshwater fishing industry, After Drowning is a semi-psychological and vastly intriguing novel about lives shattered by events past and present in the fictional town of Port, where a vestigial fishing industry still exists in company with gentrified tourist destinations, and of course, the beach.… Continue reading

Travels with Farley by Claire Mowat

can be great fun to read, or they can be boringly self-indulgent. It all depends on the memoirist. In Claire Mowat’s Travels with Farley (2015 Pottersfield Press), we have a surprisingly candid, friendly and concise memoirist as the late Canadian author Farley Mowat’s wife takes us through a whirlwind tour of their years together from 1969 to about 1976, shortly after they left Newfoundland and to the time they settled in Cape Breton.… Continue reading