Fiction

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…
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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…
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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…
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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,…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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1592 Five novellas

The Scent of Light by Kristjana Gunnars Toronto: Coach House Books, 2022 $25.95  /  9781552454381 Reviewed by Carol Matthews * In his introduction to The Scent of Light, Kazim Ali describes the five novellas that make up Kristjana Gunnars’ s collection as “transgeneric books comprised of a dynamic blend of fiction, autobiography, literary theory and…
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1589 The empty spaces of love

Ghost Forest by Pik-Shuen Fung Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (McClelland and Stewart), 2021 $22.00 / 9780771096488 Reviewed by Michelle Ha * “How do you grieve, if your family doesn’t talk about feelings?” This is a question that I feel like many children of immigrants can relate to, and most may have asked themselves as…
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1584 The mighty Fraser

Damages: Selected Stories 1982-2012 by Keath Fraser, with an introduction by John Metcalf Windsor, ON: Biblioasis, 2021 $22.99 / 9781771962933 Reviewed by Bill Paul * Last year marked the publication of Keath Fraser’s highly anticipated collection of short stories, Damages: Selected Stories, 1982-2012, with an introduction by John Metcalf. The fiction collected in this volume…
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1580 Because matters

Because of Nothing at All by Paul Sunga Fredericton: Goose Lane Editions, 2022 $24.95 / 9781773102467 Reviewed by W.H. New * On first glance, I thought that the title of Paul Sunga’s new novel, Because of Nothing at All, seemed awkward, but I soon changed my mind. Because the moment you start reading, it’s clear…
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1579 Swindles, scandal, affluence

Art for Art’s Sake by Maria Tippett Cambridge, UK: Pegasus Publishers (Vanguard Press), 2022 $16.99   / 9781800164130 Reviewed by Ginny Ratsoy * This nonet of stories is unified, as the title suggests, by a focus on visual art — unsurprising given that Tippett is a renowned art historian. The book’s title is sometimes straight up…
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1578 Guns N’ Poses

They Don’t Pay Me To Say No: my life in film and television props by Dean Goodine Victoria: FriesenPress Publishing, 2022 $24.99 / 9781039144316 Reviewed by Valerie Green * If you were asked what a “property master” does for a living, you would most likely assume the job was connected to real estate in some…
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1577 Alone in a park

Falling Hour by Geoffrey D. Morrison Toronto: Coach House Books, forthcoming February 2023 $22.95 / 9781552454466. To pre-order, click here Reviewed by Danial Neil * From the very beginning of this novel, there is a sense of something significant at work, an epic, perhaps, or something quite different, but equally triumphant. The table is set…
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1575 The Red Rock chronicles

My Indian Summer by Joseph Kakwinokanasum New Westminster: Tidewater Press, 2022 $22.95 / 9781990160127 Reviewed by Brett Grubisic * With chapters that share titles with huge seventies radio hits by the likes of ABBA, Kenny Rogers, Nick Gilder, and Captain & Tennille, My Indian Summer appears to point readers in the direction of a wholly…
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1573 A pick-me-up romance

The Dating Plan by Sara Desai Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada (Berkley), 2021 $22.00 / 9780593100585 Reviewed by Myshara Herbert-McMyn * A software engineer and her brother’s childhood best friend, Daisy and Liam, have a complex history of attraction and heartbreak. When they run into each other after years spent pursuing their own lives and…
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1572 Food for the soul

Larder by Rhona McAdam Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2022 $20.00 / 9781773860831 Reviewed by Heidi Greco * Although Canada may be a very big country, its literary community is relatively small. And if you narrow that group further to the community of poets – or, further yet, to BC poets – as a reviewer (and…
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