Books for Children from Newfoundland & Labrador 2019 (Part Two): Running the Goat Books and Broadsides

Running the Goat Books & Broadsides is a micro-press specializing in letterpress-printed and fine trade books, chapbooks and broadsides by some of Newfoundland and Labrador’s finest writers, and I’ve put off writing about them long enough. For the past few months, the kind folks at Running the Goat have been sending me the most astounding books for children and young people. As with most (if not all) books for children, it is difficult to review them other than commenting on the quality, the illustrations and so on.… Continue reading

Precept by Matthew de Lacey Davidson

Self-published Nova Scotian author Matthew de Lacy Davidson has released his first novel Precept, and it is firmly in the historical fiction genre. I particularly enjoy these types of novels, for one learns something, if not of the actual event, then about the personages themselves. Precept is no exception. The 19th-century historical figure of Frederick Douglass, a former slave and abolitionist, has escaped to Ireland to avoid recapture and certain death.… Continue reading

La Brigantessa by Rosanna Micelotta Battigelli

Rosanna Micelotta Battigelli’s ambitious debut novel, La Brigantessa has already garnered awards and nominations, such as the Winner of the IPPY Gold Medal for Historical Fiction and Finalist for the 2019 Fred Kerner Book Award. No doubt more recognition will come (best cover art?) for her and La Brigantessa. Update: La Brigantessa’s cover did win an award! See: https://miramichireader.ca/2019/09/2019-very-best-book-awards/

The historical background of this engrossing book is General Garibaldi’s campaign against Rome that led to his wounding and imprisonment after being defeated in the Calabrian mountains of the Aspromonte in 1862.… Continue reading

Celtic Knot: A Clara Swift Tale by Ann Shortell

A fine example of Canadian historical fiction, Ann Shortell’s Celtic Knot: A Clara Swift Tale (2018, Friesen Press) is constructed around the actual assassination of D’Arcy McGee, one of the fathers of confederation, on April 7th, 1868 as he was returning from Parliament to Mrs. Trotter’s boarding house. The assailant was never seen, but Patrick J. Whelan (“Jimmy”) was later arrested, convicted and hanged as the culprit.… Continue reading

The Daughters’ Story by Murielle Cyr

Nadine is banished to a home for unwed mothers in 1950. She’s 15. Her baby daughter, whose father is shrouded in secrecy, is put up for adoption without her permission. Vowing to reunite one day with her daughter, she cuts all ties with her dysfunctional Irish and French-Canadian Catholic family whose past is cluttered with secrets, betrayals, incest and violence.