History (B.C.)

1933 Calling a spade a spade

Highway of Tears: A True Story of Racism, Indifference and the Pursuit of Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls by Jessica McDiarmid Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada [Doubleday Canada], 2020 $21.00 /  9780385687577 Reviewed by David Milward * Missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) remains a grave crisis in Canada….
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1929 Perseverance in a closed community

Stillwater by Darcy Friesen Hossack  New Westminster: Tidewater Press, 2023 $22.95 / 9781990160202 Reviewed by Candace Fertile * Darcy Friesen Hossack’s debut novel, Stillwater, plays on her own Mennonite and Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) background. The main character, Lizzy, a teenage girl with aspirations of a medical career, is forced to move with her family to…
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1927 Impossiblist Maverick

Class Warrior: The Selected Works of E.T. Kingsley by Benjamin Isitt and Ravi Malhotra (eds.) Athabasca: Athabasca University Press, 2022 $34.95  /  9781778290046 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Chances are you’ve never heard of Eugene Thornton (E.T.) Kingsley. Chances are also good that if you had heard of him you might not like him or…
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1922 Irresistible Stikine

Stikine Odyssey: From Adventure to Activism with The Great River by Peter Rowlands Altona: Friesen Press, 2023 $24.49  /  9781775238348 Reviewed by Trevor Marc Hughes * What is it that draws adventurers to the Stikine River? For me, in 2012, it was a desire to see this beautiful, and integral, landscape in northern British Columbia…
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1921 Treasures from the past

Time to Wonder – Volume 2. A Kid’s Guide to BC’s Regional Museums: Vancouver Island, Salt Spring, Alert Bay, and Haida Gwaii by S. Lesley Buxton and Sue Harper Victoria: Rocky Mountain Books, 2022 $22.00  /  9781771605069 Reviewed by Valerie Green * In view of the recent closure of Point Ellice House and Gardens in…
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1919 Mars, mirth, metadata

Girlfriend on Mars By Deborah Willis Toronto: Hamish Hamilton, 2023 $34.00 / 9780670069583 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * With a nod and wink, Vancouver’s Deborah Willis titles her story about a preposterously engineered mission to terraform Mars Girlfriend on Mars. The wonderfully lightweight word “Girlfriend” plays with the discrepancy between the gravity of a real…
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1916 Migratory Filipinos scraping by in Osoyoos, Sarnia, and Iqaluit

Reuniting with Strangers By Jennilee Austria-Bonifacio Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2023 $22.95 / 9781771623582 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Jennilee Austria-Bonifacio has written an engaging novel that tells the stories of the reunification of Filipino caregiver families over one Canadian winter. She has done this in an engaging and most unique way; not simply…
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1915 Money laundering and melodrama

Laundering the Dragon–Black Renminbi By John D’Eathe Vancouver: Adagio Media, 2021 $17.99 / 9781999433918 Reviewed by Valerie Green   *   John D’Eathe has written what is described as “a contemporary melodramatic novel” set in recent times about a current day problem in the powerful, international financial business world. D’Eathe begins his book with an…
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1912 Fire, ash, and regrowth

Before Combustion By Nicholas Bradley Kentville: Gaspereau Press, 2023 $23.95 / 9871554472543 Reviewed by Marguerite Pigeon * The title of Nicholas Bradley’s new book, Before Combustion, is drawn from a line in his poem, “Self-portrait in Lycra Skinsuit,” where the poet considers a schism in his cyclist persona. There’s the familiar self who, enveloped in…
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1907 The legacy of a shipwright

Called by the North: Extraordinary Adventures of the Fur Trade, Shipbuilders, Navigators and Traders in Northwestern Canada and Alaska by George H.S. Duddy Maryland: Heritage Books, 2022 $44.95  /  97807884240097 Reviewed by Ken Favrholdt * This book is an extraordinary feat of research and writing. It is especially significant as the Arctic has become the…
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1903 Corporate media bad guys

The Postmedia Effect: How Vulture Capitalism is Wrecking Our News by Marc Edge Vancouver: New Star Books, 2023 $25.00  /  9781554201976 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Notice how your local newspaper isn’t quite what it used to be? Maybe there are fewer local news stories reported. Maybe it’s no longer serving as a watchdog at…
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1902 Knowing the forest

Strong Winds and Widow Makers: Workers, Nature, and Environmental Conflict in Pacific Northwest Timber Country by Steven C. Beda Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2023 $24.95 (USD)  /  ISBN 9780252086823 Reviewed by Gordon Hak * The book title might suggest that there is little of interest here for British Columbia readers, who often do not…
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1880 Small place, big story

Sheltering in the Backrush: A History of Twin Islands by Jeanette Taylor Madeira Park, BC: Harbour Publishing, 2023 $24.95  /  9781990776113 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Jeanette Taylor begins her book with the words: “Twin Islands, a private retreat just off the entrance to Desolation Sound Marine Park, is a small place with a big…
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