Book Reviews

1535 An English chambermaid

Queasy: a wannabe writer’s bumpy journey through England in the ’70s by Madeline Sonik Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2022 $20.00 / 9781772141894 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * “There be dragons,” warn words in the corners of some old maps. The warning is really, of course, an invitation both to the intrepid to investigate remote lands and…
Read more 1535 An English chambermaid

1534 Finding Francie Fox

Red Fox Road by Frances Greenslade Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Puffin), 2022 (hardcover, 2020) $11.99 / 9780735267831 Reviewed by Cassidy Lea * If you ever got lost in the woods, what would you do? What would you need to survive? An axe, maybe some fishing gear, enough dehydrated food to feed you for a…
Read more 1534 Finding Francie Fox

1533 On the edge of memoir

Blue Portugal and Other Essays by Theresa Kishkan Edmonton: University of Alberta Press, 2022 $24.99 / 9781772125993 Reviewed by Michael Hayward * For forty-some-odd years, Theresa Kishkan and her husband, poet John Pass, have been living in a home that they built themselves early in their marriage, on a piece of land half-way up BC’s…
Read more 1533 On the edge of memoir

1532 Some things that remain true

Icefields by Thomas Wharton, with a foreword by Suzette Mayr Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2021 (first published 1995) $23.95 / 9781774390368 Reviewed by Geoffrey D. Morrison * A reissued novel poses a special task for the reviewer, not least because many of the things people say about a book the first time around tend to remain…
Read more 1532 Some things that remain true

1531 High end mischief

Mischief Making: Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, Art, and the Seriousness of Play by Nicola Levell, with a foreword by Nobuhiro Kishigami Vancouver: UBC Press, 2021 $29.95 / 9780774867368 Reviewed by Victoria Wyatt * Haida artist Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas explains, “I am committed to the idea of human hybridity as a good thing: difference is a fertile…
Read more 1531 High end mischief

1530 Fight fire with … foresight

First Nations Wildfire Evacuations: A Guide for Communities and External Agencies by Tara K. McGee, Amy Cardinal Christianson, and First Nations Wildfire Evacuation Partnership Vancouver: UBC Press, 2021 $25.00 / 9780774880664 Reviewed by Kim Naqvi * This concise, clear guide for wildfire evacuations in First Nations communities is more than just practical, informative, and accessible…
Read more 1530 Fight fire with … foresight

1529 Enter the Native Daughters

Hastings Mill: The Historic Times of a Vancouver Community by Lisa Anne Smith Vancouver: Ronsdale Press, 2021 $24.95 / 9781553806417 Reviewed by Phyllis Reeve * The history of Vancouver differs from that of Canada’s other major cities. It’s as though she jumped a couple of centuries to land at last on this side of the…
Read more 1529 Enter the Native Daughters

1528 The cords that bind

Cordage from the Ozette Village Archaeological Site: A Technological, Functional and Comparative Study by Dale R. Croes with Darby C. Stapp (editor) and Victoria Boozer (publications assistant) Richland, WA: Journal of Northwest Anthropology (JONA) Memoir Number 21, May 2021 $24.99 (U.S.) / 9798504397573 Reviewed by Andrea Laforet * Ozette, a village on Cape Alava on…
Read more 1528 The cords that bind

1527 Turbulence and eruption

Emily Carr, Unvarnished: Autobiographical Sketches by Emily Carr by Kathryn Bridge (editor) Victoria: Royal British Columbia Museum Press, 2021 $24.95 / 9780772679642 Reviewed by Colin Browne * Turbulence and Eruption: Emily Carr, Unvarnished There’s a scene in Kathryn Bridge’s wonderful collection, Unvarnished: Autobiographical Sketches by Emily Carr, that sticks in my mind. It’s June 1936….
Read more 1527 Turbulence and eruption

1526 Our strongest suit

Best Canadian Stories 2021 by Diane Schoemperlen (editor) Windsor, ON: Biblioasis, 2021 $18.99 / 9781771964364 Reviewed by Carol Matthews * There’s a rumour that the short story is on the decline and that publishers, not to mention the public, prefer novels. And yet, here we have the 2021 edition of Best Canadian Short Stories. The…
Read more 1526 Our strongest suit

1525 A seafood lover’s pantry

Off the Hook: The Essential West Coast Seafood Recipes by D.L. Acken and Aurelia Louvet Victoria: Touchwood Editions, 2018 $22.00 / 9781771512763 Reviewed by Gillian Crowther * Off The Hook: The Essential West Coast Seafood Recipes is the perfect description of this little gem of a book. It does, however, put you on the hook…
Read more 1525 A seafood lover’s pantry

1524 LSD & Hollywood North

The Acid Room: The Psychedelic Trials and Tribulations of Hollywood Hospital by Jesse Donaldson and Erika Dyck Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2022 $18.00 / 9781772141863 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh  * Acid Test in New West: LSD entered the world through the doors of a BC Hospital Before LSD guru Timothy Leary (“tune in, turn on and…
Read more 1524 LSD & Hollywood North

1522 A vintage west coast thriller

Perilous Passage by Arthur Mayse, with an introduction by Susan Mayse Montreal: Véhicule Press, 2021 (first published by William Morrow and Company, 1949) $14.99 / 9781550655841 Reviewed by Miranda Marini * Despite being a Canadian author and despite his vast contributions to the Canadian literary canon, Arthur Mayse remains a lesser-known author among Canadian literature…
Read more 1522 A vintage west coast thriller

1521 House of cards

The Perfect Family by Robyn Harding Toronto: Simon and Schuster Canada, 2021 $24.99 / 9781982176877 Reviewed by Zoe McKenna * In front of the window overlooking my own quiet street, it is not at all difficult to imagine the suburban neighbourhood in which Robyn Harding’s The Perfect Family takes place. The Perfect Family is the…
Read more 1521 House of cards

1520 To move as the kelp moves

Intertidal: Poems from the Littoral Zone by Zoe Dickinson Salt Spring Island: Raven Chapbooks, 2022 $20.00 / 9780973440898 Reviewed by Brian Day * Zoe Dickinson’s Intertidal, the winner of this year’s Raven Chapbooks Poetry Contest, speaks from the verges of the Juan de Fuca Strait. The voice of these poems patiently and reverently attends to…
Read more 1520 To move as the kelp moves