Looking back on all the books I reviewed in 2018, there were plenty of good ones that came out of New Brunswick.
Before I get to highlighting just a few of them, I would like to mention how unhappy I was at the hearing of the passing of Raymond Fraser in 2018. He will leave a definite void in the East Coast writing scene, but he leaves behind a legacy of enjoyable reading and poetry as well.… Continue reading “Best New Brunswick Reads of 2018”
Newfoundland’s master storyteller Gary Collins returns with a novel written in his cogent style that blends together fiction and history into a uniquely readable book that anyone would enjoy. That may sound like a marketing line you might read on the back of one of Mr. Collin’s books, but I have read and/or reviewed several of his books and I’ve always found them to be enjoyable, compelling reads.… Continue reading “The Crackie by Gary Collins”
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 “The Land’s Long Reach by Valerie Mills-Milde”
this book is composed of transcripts of two documentaries, with added poems and photographs, it doesn’t really lend itself to any type of review other than to compliment Flanker Press on doing admirable job of assembling and producing this book. Particularly striking is the full-colour insert “Remembering With Rugs” a collection of hand-hooked rugs commemorating aspects of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment and that fateful July 1st, 1916 when the entire regiment was machine-gunned down in minutes.… Continue reading “I Remain, Your Loving Son: Intimate Stories of Beaumont-Hamel by Frances Ennis (Editor), Bob Wakeham (Editor)”
“Generals, colonels, majors, and captains have all written books about the First World War, but in the years that have since come and gone, I have never read or even heard of one that was written by a sergeant, a corporal, or a private, the lowly common front-line foot soldier.”
are the words of Private Arthur.W. Manuel who served in the First World War (or the “Great War” as it was then known) with the Royal Newfoundland Regiment from 1914-1919.… Continue reading “A Boy From Botwood by Pte. A.W. Manuel”
My Adventures with Billy Bishop’s Ghost, Diana Bishop’s memoirs of her grandfather, WWI Canadian flying ace Billy Bishop, is an insightful, moving look at growing up in the shadow of a legend. Living Up to a Legend (Dundurn, 2017) is full of important moments and keen recollections of a life lived not only with Billy’s ghost but with a father (Arthur Bishop) who was a WWII RCAF officer who flew Spitfires and was popular in his own right.… Continue reading “Living Up to a Legend by Diana Bishop”