The Unlikely Redemption of John Alexander MacNeil by Lesley Choyce

Lesley Choyce is an active, prolific author and his latest title The Unlikely Redemption of John Alexander MacNeil (Roseway Publishing, 2017) is bound to be well-received by the reading public. It is the tale of the octogenarian widower John Alex (as he is known to everyone) living in rural Deepvale, Cape Breton where he still sets a place for his deceased wife of thirty years, Eva. He is someone who has always lived his life without caring what anyone else thought of him. We join him at the story's outset where he is considering if he really is losing his mind....

The Fiddlehead Issue No.270 (Winter 2017)

Issue No. 270 of the Fiddlehead literary journal sports an attractive cover with art by Ann Manuel entitled “Blur 1” making you feel that what is contained within is something special. There are works of short fiction by Jasmina Odor, Charlie Fiset, David Clerson (an excerpt from his otherworldly novel Brothers (translated by Katia Grubisic), Darryl Whetter and David Carpenter. There are poems from no less than twelve different poets as well as book reviews.… Continue reading

mouth human must die by Lee D. Thompson

This 2017 chapbook by New Brunswick author Lee D. Thompson is either the work of a literary genius or a literary madman (not that the two are mutually exclusive). Having a small acquaintance with Mr Thompson impels me to put him in the former category as this 35-page exercise in creative writing left me staggered by his vision into the schizophrenic mind of Lester, a young man who lives in his mother’s basement, refuses medication and communes nocturnally with Lara, a Slow Loris in the city’s zoo.… Continue reading

The Path of Most Resistance by Russell Wangersky

The dedication at the beginning of The Path of Most Resistance (House of Anansi, 2016) states: “For those who fight the hardest to win the smallest of battles. You know who you are.” And that is what the baker’s dozen of Russell Wangersky’s short stories are about: winning small battles, typically in a passive aggressive way, either overtly or in a less conspicuous manner.

“Rage”, the first story, finds Ian, a journeying pharmaceutical rep, wondering why other drivers are so angry: “Why does everyone seem so angry today, Ian wondered.Continue reading

Death Dealer by Kate Clark Flora

On January 26th, 2003 David Tanasichuk of Miramichi New Brunswick called the Miramichi Police Force (MPF) to report that Maria, his wife was missing. He stated that she had been gone since January 14th and he hadn’t heard from her since. An MPF constable, in following up on the call said: “Hi David, I understand you haven’t seen your wife since January 12th?” Tanasichuk replied, “Yes.”

That was the first of many mistakes that David Tanasichuk would make over the course of the investigation.… Continue reading

Just Jen: Thriving Through Multiple Sclerosis by Jen Powley

While it is most often diagnosed in young adults aged 15 to 40, younger children and older adults are also diagnosed with the disease. MS can occur at any age but is usually diagnosed between the ages of 15 to 40, peak years for education, career- and family-building. MS has been diagnosed in children as young as two years old – and in far older adults.… Continue reading

As Fierce as Steel (Gold & Steel Saga) by Christopher Walsh

First-time novelist Christopher Walsh has penned a formidable fantasy novel in Fierce as Steel (2016), the first instalment in the Gold & Steel saga set in the country of Illiastra where revolution is brewing against the wealthy and all-controlling Elite Merchant Party (EMP) and the Triarchists, the sole ‘official’ state-sanctioned religion. The principal revolutionaries are the Thieves, led by the elusive Lady Orangecloak, whose mission is to “steal back freedom” for the oppressed.… Continue reading

Geranium Window Cover

The Geranium Window by Beatrice MacNeil

“How can anyone have a child and keep such a thing hidden?”

the late 1950’s the Briar family of Rocky Point, Cape Breton unsuccessfully attempt to keep their third child, Joseph hid in his room, not to be spoken of or seen by anyone outside of the immediate family.

“Joseph Briar, born of original shame, the product of an old sperm and a soft egg; his stern sixty-one-year-old father laid down the fundamental lie.Continue reading