Must-Have New Brunswick Books of 2020*

Of Canada’s thirteen provinces and territories, New Brunswick’s population sits near the middle at #8, just behind Nova Scotia and ahead of PEI and Newfoundland and Labrador. Yet, despite its small population (well under 800,000), there is a wealth of good books either being written by authors based in New Brunswick or books about the “picture province” some even are published here.…

Black Loyalists in New Brunswick by Stephen Davidson

Gone are the days of extolling Canada as the northern terminus of the “Underground Railroad” that served to funnel Black slaves to so-called freedom north of the 49th parallel. Now, thankfully, we are seeing books that put Canada’s treatment of such Blacks under a microscope and the findings are anything but something to be proud of. Another way many Blacks arrived in Canada were on ships that carried them to what is present-day New Brunswick.…

When the Hill Came Down by Susan White

New Brunswick author Susan White writes great stories, suitable for young adult readers on up. Past reviews here at TMR include Fear of Drowning, The Memory Chair and Waiting for Still Water. Fine stories all, and I highly recommend them. Now, PEI’s Acorn Press has released her latest, When the Hill Came Down, a story about loss, jealousy, childhood abuse/misuse, love, and redemption.…

Restigouche: The Long Run of the Wild River by Philip Lee

A canoe trip that spans decades of historical reflection, offering a unique perspective on the Restigouche, its impact on the people who live beside and along the river, and their impact on this natural phenomenon.

Canoeing was integral to my childhood. And as an adult, for that matter. The last boat I bought was Kevlar—lightweight and strong, and of course, bulletproof.…

The Miramichi Fire: A History by Alan MacEachern

“Whatever happened to the Miramichi Fire? I first came across it in George Perkins Marsh’s groundbreaking 1864 Man and Nature, the first modern treatise on humans’ effects on nature. He recalled it in these terms: “The great fire of Miramichi in 1825, probably the most extensive and terrific conflagration recorded in authentic history, spread its ravages over nearly six thousand square miles, chiefly of woodland, and was of such intensity that it seemed to consume the very soil itself.”…

Death Between the Walls: An Old Manse Mystery by Alexa Bowie

As far back as 1992, the trade journal Publishers Weekly reported that “cozy mysteries, especially those with female protagonists, are the new publishing rage, outpacing crime novels that feature male private eyes and police detectives.” Twenty-eight years later, the genre is still with us and going strong.

Enter newcomer Alexa Bowie, the alter ego of Chuck Bowie, an author that is well-known in these parts, being from the Miramichi and all.…

Winter Road by Wayne Curtis

Winter Road is the newest collection of Wayne Curtis’ fictional short stories and is a continuation of his 2017 collection, Homecoming: The Road Less Travelled. The classic Wayne Curtis is all here: reminiscences of glory days gone by, of a world that has changed, of growing older, though perhaps not all that much wiser.

A #ReadAtlantic Book!

I’m going to borrow a line from Physician/Poet/Critic/Essayist Shane Neilson who said of poet Alden Nowlan: “He will slay you.…

Fixing Broken Things by Gregory M. Cook

It was freezing; nearly zero! Frigid Vancouver conditions. But sun broke through, the morning warmed with optimism. I finished eating a fry-up at a favourite breakfast spot (strong Wi-Fi, bottomless coffee) and made my way toward the water. The lingering taste on my palette took me back to a similar morning – cold and bright – where I stopped at a roadside diner just outside Aulac, New Brunswick, now the home of poet Gregory Cook.…

Two Novels of Le Grand Dérangement

The Great Deportation or Le Grand Dérangement, of the Acadian peoples, began in 1755 in the area now called the Bay of Fundy. Homes and farms were burned, and many of the 14,000 inhabitants of Acadia were herded aboard British ships and sent off to the Thirteen Colonies. The following two novels, both suitable for mature young readers on up, focus on this time of upheaval and the separation of families.…

Wayne Curtis Receives the New Brunswick Lieutenant-Governor’s Award for Literary Arts

a recent Words on Water event at the Newcastle Public Library, a series of engraved wood plaques crafted by local artist Gloria Savoie was unveiled. They are to mark the “indoor” portion of the Miramichi Literary Trail. In attendance were the authors Sandra Bunting, Chuck Bowie, Doug Underhill, and Wayne Curtis. All read from their works and there was much conversation afterword.…

Margaret Atwood, Campobello Island and the Passamoquoddy by Rachel Bryant

(The following article, under the title “More cultural storytelling in Peskotomuhkatik” was penned by Rachel Bryant, author of The Homing Place: Indigenous and Settler Literary Legacies of the Atlantic. It was originally published on her website on September 21st, 2019 and is reproduced here with her kind permission.)

morning brought a new piece by one of my favourite local authors, Julia Wright — one about Margaret Atwood’s new novel, The Testaments, which apparently concludes with a scene on Campobello Island, a Canadian island that is connected by bridge to the state of Maine at the entrance of the Passamaquoddy Bay.…

The Allan Hudson Interview

Hudson is a New Brunswick author and interviewer. He has written several books of short stories, two thriller-adventure novels featuring his Drake Alexander character, Dark Side of a Promise and Wall of War. His most recent work was the short fiction The Shattered Figurine, available as an eBook. Since Allan has interviewed so many authors from far and wide, I thought it was time I should interview him!…

Everything in This House Breaks (Stories) by Sandra Bunting

Church resident poet and author Sandra Bunting has released her second book of short stories, Everything in This House Breaks. Her first collection, The Effect of Frost on Southern Vines was published in 2016, so I have been waiting for something new from Ms. Bunting for some time. There are 21 stories in this collection and they range in length from a few pages to about twenty.…

New Brunswick by Shane Neilson

First impressions upon reading New Brunswick:

  • I felt like I went a few rounds with Yvon Durelle, the Fighting Fisherman, so hard-hitting is the emotional impact of this collection.
  • I was amazed at how much of New Brunswick’s history, current affairs and sense of place Mr. Neilson incorporates into his poems.

I tried to read New Brunswick in one sitting, but the power of his words forced me to put down this slim volume and pause.…

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.…