Fiction

1637 Time regained

The Lost Century by Larissa Lai Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2022 $24.95 / 9781551528977 Reviewed by Hanako Masutani * “Don’t you read your history books!” Violet Mah, a retired medical doctor and part-time narrator of The Lost Century, berates her niece, a proxy for the reader. Larissa Lai’s latest novel opens in a hole-in-the-wall restaurant…
Read more 1637 Time regained

1635 Depending on memory

The Knot Wound Round Your Finger: An Anthology of Memory, History, & Inheritance by Devon Field (editor) Vancouver: Bell Press Books, 2021 $20.00 / 9780994812728 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * In a short story called “Lethe’s Share,” author Carsten Schmitt writes, “It’s our memories who make us who we are. “ Most of us would…
Read more 1635 Depending on memory

1634 Shades of empire and activism

You Are Here: Selected Stories by Cynthia Flood, with an introduction by Rebecca Rosenblum Windsor, ON: Biblioasis, 2022 $26.95 / 9781771963411 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Emma Donoghue has observed, “The great thing about a short story is that it doesn’t have to trawl through someone’s whole life; it can come in glancingly from the side.”…
Read more 1634 Shades of empire and activism

1632 Expecting full envelopes

Dear Peter, Dear Ulla by Barbara Nickel Saskatoon: Thistledown Press, 2021 $16.95 / 9781771872232 Reviewed by Alison Acheson * Barbara Nickel’s Dear Peter, Dear Ulla is a gift. While written for tweens to young teens, many adult readers would enjoy it too. The full cast of characters of all ages are well-developed for their roles,…
Read more 1632 Expecting full envelopes

1631 Small mammal wisdom

The Little Brudders of Miséricorde by David M. Wallace New Westminster: Tidewater Press, 2022 $21.95 / 9781990160080 Reviewed by Zoe McKenna * In the final months of 2022, the initial COVID-19 lockdowns of 2020 have transitioned from reality into memory. While that era of the pandemic fades away, what remains is the widespread experience of…
Read more 1631 Small mammal wisdom

1630 Riding a complex grief

The Tattoo Widow by Becky Parisotto Victoria: FriesenPress, 2021 $21.99 / 9781039112308 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * The Tattoo Widow by Becky Parisotto captures the beautiful and enrapturing journey of Annalise as she grieves for the loss of her husband, a tattoo artist named Dylan. The nature of Annalise and Dylan’s relationship is shown before…
Read more 1630 Riding a complex grief

1620 Enter Sloan Donovan

To Those Who Killed Me by J.T. Siemens Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2022 $21.95 / 9781774390436 Reviewed by Candace Fertile * Out for a run in West Vancouver, Sloan Donovan finds her friend Geri dead in her Audi convertible, an apparent suicide. That’s page one, and the running never stops as Sloane tries to discover the…
Read more 1620 Enter Sloan Donovan

1608 The vernacular of the country

All the Bears Sing: Stories by Harold Macy Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2022 $24.95 / 9781990776007 Reviewed by W.H. New * Readers who enjoy tales of living and working in the BC woods and in small Coastal communities will find much to appreciate in Harold Macy’s collection of 23 tales and stories. Macy writes out…
Read more 1608 The vernacular of the country

1607 A year in a life

Confessions with Keith: Extracts from the Journals of Vita Glass by Pauline Holdstock Windsor, ON: Biblioasis, 2022 $22.95 / 9781771964975 Reviewed by Candace Fertile * Vita Glass, the character at the centre of Pauline Holdstock’s latest novel, lives in an extreme amount of chaos. It’s no wonder as she has four children, a dog, a cat,…
Read more 1607 A year in a life

1605 Fringe sports & epic fights

Five Moves of Doom by A.J. Devlin Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2022 $22.95 / 9781774390559 Reviewed by Caileigh Broatch * In the professional wresting world, the words “five moves of doom” can cause a tidal wave of excitement. It’s a series of signature moves unique to each wrestler that, often, dictates how the match will go…
Read more 1605 Fringe sports & epic fights

1604 Plain talk at Tyee Lagoon

The Liquor Vicar: (The Mildly Catastrophic Misadventures of Tony Vicar, Book 1) by Vince R. Ditrich Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2021 $18.99 / 9781459747258 Reviewed by Theo Dombrowski * Vince R. Ditrich’s Liquor Vicar is a great big shambling bear hug and sloppy, bearded kiss of a novel. It is a novel jam-packed with irascible and…
Read more 1604 Plain talk at Tyee Lagoon

1601 Timely monstrosities

Queer Little Nightmares: An Anthology of Monstrous Fiction and Poetry by David Ly and Daniel Zomparelli (editors) Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2022 $21.95 /  9781551529011 Reviewed by Zoe McKenna * Everybody is afraid of something. David Ly and Daniel Zomparelli’s Queer Little Nightmares: An Antholgy of Monstrous Fiction and Poetry offers a chilling seasonal collection…
Read more 1601 Timely monstrosities

1599 Pilgrimage to the bust of Nelligan

Séjour Saint-Louis by Reed Stirling Airdrie, Alberta: BWL [Books We Love] Publishing, 2021 $22.00  /  9780228617488 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * Cowichan Bay painter and writer Reed Stirling has published three works in as many years, following up a literary mystery and a “fictional memoir” with an atmospheric novel that is heavily and overtly influenced…
Read more 1599 Pilgrimage to the bust of Nelligan

1595 Beware of Ketopram

The Darkness in the Light by Daniel Kalla Toronto: Simon & Schuster Canada, 2022 $24.99 / 9781982191399 Reviewed by Valerie Green * If you enjoy gripping, psychological thrillers, Daniel Kalla’s book The Darkness in The Light will hold your attention to the very end. The story takes place in Anchorage, Alaska, and in the remote…
Read more 1595 Beware of Ketopram