Fiction

1465 Dark wry

Ghost Geographies: Fictions by Tamas Dobozy Vancouver: New Star Books, 2021 $24.00 / 9781554201792 Reviewed by W.H. New * First off: Tamas Dobozy is a friend, so I’m not completely impartial. But I’ve now read this collection of stories three times, and each time I’m more impressed. This is a major book: serious, wryly humorous,…
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1463 The act of breaking

The Broken Places by Frances Peck Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2022 $24.95 / 9781774390450 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * This is the novel that many Vancouverites have been half-consciously waiting for– just as they have been half-unconsciously waiting for…The Big One. The earthquake that devastates Vancouver in Frances Peck’s The Broken Places is not the big…
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1461 Denman Island calling

The Denman Island Readers & Writers Festival is back — and it will be good by Howard Macdonald Stewart * The Denman Island Readers & Writers Festival is on again this year from July 15-17, with related events beginning July 11. Festival organisers improvised in 2020 and 2021 but now it’s back to our traditional…
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1458 Death at the Yatra Institute

Mindful of Murder by Susan Juby Toronto: HarperCollins Canada, 2022 $24.99 / 9781443464437 Reviewed by Carol Matthews * There’s no time wasted getting to the murder scene in Susan Juby’s new mystery. The Prologue to Mindful of Murder gives a brief introduction to the victim, Edna Rodd, and by the fifth page we’ve watched her…
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1457 Call up the happy endings

The Voyage of Freydis: The Vinland Viking Saga, Book 1 by Tamara Goranson Toronto: HarperCollins Canada (One More Chapter), 2021 $23.99 /  9780008495336 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * Two things about the title of this novel, The Voyage of Freydis, struck me when I first came across it. Firstly, that it was a voyage. That…
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1455 Settlers at the edge of empire

Providence: A Novel. The McBride Chronicles, Book One by Valerie Green Surrey, BC: Hancock House, 2022 $26.95 / 9780888397393 Reviewed by Vanessa Winn * Historian Valerie Green’s debut novel, Providence, is the first of a family saga trilogy. The engaging story is told from the perspective of two protagonists, settlers who make the arduous journey…
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1454 Clicks and jokes and uproar

Lucy and Bonbon by Don LePan Montreal: Guernica Editions (Miroland): 2022 $20.00 / 9781771837187 Reviewed by Brett Josef Grubisic * Lucy and Bonbon unfolds in intriguing stages, each one with characteristics true to the genre. Though the novel’s irreverent conceits — bestiality, unnatural spawn — are the foundation of the premise and might provoke the…
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1453 What would Valerie do?

Made in Korea by Sarah Suk Toronto: Simon & Schuster Canada, 2021 $24.99 / 9781534474376 Reviewed by Michelle Ha * Meet Valerie Kwon, an ambitious young teenager in her senior year at Crescent Brook High, who runs a successful student business, V&C K-BEAUTY, with her cousin Charlie Song. All has been well with their business…
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1451 Intrigue at the Savoy Hotel

Death at the Savoy: A Priscilla Tempest Mystery by Ron Base and Prudence Emery Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2022 $18.95 / 9781771623216 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Star-struck readers will likely savour Death at the Savoy. Tony Bennett, Louis Armstrong and Claude Monet are name-dropped, Luciano Pavarotti and Bob Hope put in brief appearances,…
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1449 Border crossing

The Strait of Anian by Rhonda Waterfall Surrey: Now or Never Publishing, 2022 $19.95 / 9781989689325 Reviewed by W.H. New * When I opened The Strait of Anian, I expected to see some allusion to Earle Birney’s poetry collection of the same name, but Rhonda Waterfall’s first novel (second book) goes in a different (though…
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1446 Annick and the red herrings

Noonday Dark: Doctor Annick Boudreau Mystery No. 2 by Charles Demers Madeira Park: Douglas & McIntyre, 2022 $18.95 / 9781771623285 Reviewed by Carol Matthews * Charles Demers’ new mystery, Noon Day Dark, checks off all the boxes for what I think a successful mystery should include: a strong hook, an engaging sleuth, an atmospheric setting,…
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1445 One-way ticket to Anyox

Dominion of Mercy by Danial Neil Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2021 $20.95 / 9781774390207 Reviewed by Zoe McKenna * Danial Neil’s Dominion of Mercy details a journey across continents and across centuries. Though the events of the novel are firmly set in 1917, few British Columbians will be unable to stop themselves from drawing parallels between…
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1439 The language of the pitch

A Hero of Our Time by Naben Ruthnum Toronto: Penguin Random House (McClelland and Stewart), 2022 $22.00 / 9780771096501 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * Take a popular poll on who best exemplifies a “hero of our time” and you might expect answers to include a Nobel peace prize laureate or a billionaire philanthropist. Pose the…
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1433 Social media update

Social media update by Richard Mackie * As most of you will  know, we changed our name to The British Columbia Review from The Ormsby Review less than two months ago, on February 10th, and since then we’ve never been busier:  we’ve posted 52 book reviews, two essays, one photo essay, and one docuseries review….
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1426 Farewell to a past of silence

The Atheneum by Trevor Newland Vancouver: Simply Read Books, 2021 $23.95 / 9781772290622 Reviewed by Peter Babiak * Whenever I’ve had the pleasure of teaching Children’s or Young Adult Literature, or even Graphic Novels, I’ve suspected that some students think the readings will be quick and easy, and that the critical thinking they’re called to…
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