Healing, health, self-help

Reverence, diligence, duty

A “biodiverse” poet offers advice, wake-up calls, and calls to action in an inspired and passionate volume. —Mary Ann Moore reviews Hazard, Home, by Christine Lowther (Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2024) $20.00 / 9781773861241

Through trying times

“Hartley guides us in reflecting on her mother’s values, ways of living, her love for life and purpose. She assists us to take stock in how we live, what we do, what we say and to remember these things matter, and to find a loving purpose and meaning in being there for others, no matter how difficult it may be.” Jeffrey Stychin reviews Love and Salt Air: A Heart Map of Loss and Healing by Lisa Hartley (The Self Publishing Agency Inc., 2022) $19.90 / 9781777936907

Understanding one’s ‘own kind of tragedy’

A wild ride of a debut novel portrays an aggrieved widow and self-described “aimless fool.” —Tricia Bowering reviews Norma, by Sarah Mintz (Toronto: Invisible Publishing, 2024) $22.95 / 9781778430404

Memoir of writer and companion

“His tribute to a very special little dog is both poignant and insightful, showing us how much dogs can teach us about love.” Valerie Green reviews Freddie: The Rescue Dog Who Rescued Me by Grant Hayter-Menzies (Victoria: Heritage House, 2023) $24.95 ISBN 9781772034615

Illness and ‘the hardness of love’

Poet explores an “illness of the mind” and its effects within a family.
Daniela Elza reviews In the Blood, by Alan Hill (Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2022) $20.00 / 9781773860787

Justice and ‘vile things’

Debut novel examines a legacy of hetero-masculine violence…
Trish Bowering reviews She Who Burns, by Myrl Coulter (Altona: Friesen Press, 2023) $21.99 / 9781039166936

No. 2000 for the BC Review!

When we launched The British Columbia Review — then The Ormsby Review — in September 2016, little did we expect that seven years later we’d post our 2000th review. I’m grateful to everyone — reviewers, publishers, authors, booksellers, and readers — for making it such a success and promoting BC writers, writing, and culture. It…
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Poems embrace the natural world

Poems with ‘immediacy, tactility, and general imaginative freshness’…
Christopher Levenson reviews Crushed Wild Mint, by Jess Housty (Gibsons: Nightwood Editions, 2023) $19.95 / 9780889714502

1972 Make injection sites, not criminals

Decrim: How We Decriminalized Drugs in British Columbia by Kennedy Stewart Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2023 $24.95  /  9781990776304 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * Former Vancouver mayor Kennedy Stewart speaks from political experience when he describes the struggle to have hard drugs like heroin and cocaine decriminalized in Canada’s third largest city. He also speaks…
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1959 Hidden truth and diversion

Like Every Form of Love: A Memoir of Friendship and True Crime by Padma Viswanathan Toronto: Penguin Random House Canada, 2023 $35  /  9781039006201 Reviewed by Valerie Green * This book is described as A Memoir of Friendship and True Crime. It is also two separate stories within a story while describing many different forms…
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1943 ‘Don’t you dare forget me’

When My Ghost Sings: A Memoir of Stroke, Recovery & Transformation  by Tara Sidhoo Fraser Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 2023 $22.95  /  9781551529271 Reviewed by Betty Jane Hegerat * Tara Sidhoo Fraser’s When My Ghost Sings: A Memoir of Stroke, Recovery & Transformation pieces together the aftermath of a stroke and diagnosis of a rare…
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1891 ‘Standing in the river’

Instructions for a Flood: Reflections on Story, Geography and Connection by Adrienne Fitzpatrick Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2023 $24.00  /  9781773861128 Reviewed by Catherine Owen * Gentle memories. That’s the descriptor that first flowed over me at the close of reading this short, pared set of reflections on land, water, Indigeneity, history, time, people and…
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1813 Welcome Trevor and Brett

Welcome Trevor and Brett by Richard Mackie * On behalf of the Board of the Ormsby Literary Society and our Advisory Board I’d like to welcome Trevor Marc Hughes and Brett Josef Grubisic as interim editors of The British Columbia Review for the year May 1, 2023 to May 1, 2024. The position was made possible…
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1807 A worthwhile anecdotage

Well Aged: Making the Most of Your Platinum Years by Ralph Milton Madeira Park: Douglas and McIntyre, 2021 $24.95 / 9781771623100 Reviewed by Lee Reid * “Why did I wait until age eighty before I grew up?” quips author and retired publisher of Kelowna’s Wood Lake Books Ralph Milton, now aged 89. Growing old means…
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1782 Whispers from the future

Moonlight Serenade: Embracing Aging Mindfully by Gordon Wallace Victoria: FriesenPress, 2022 $28.49 / 9781039133020 Reviewed by Lee Reid * “If not now, when?” How often do we contemplate this rhetorical refrain as we question how to live well, if not more fully, through our remaining moonlight years? The catchy refrain is frequently invoked in Moonlight…
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1773 ChatGPT and me

ChatGPT and me by Larry Hannant * The media today is agog with artificial intelligence and its boundless possibilities to expand mere mortals’ striving towards perfection, or to relegate them to the scrap heap. The intensity quickened on March 14, with the release by OpenAI of version 4 of ChatGPT. In a thoughtful Globe and…
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1757 Announcing interview series

Announcing the BC Review interview series by Richard Mackie * In November 2022, at the most recent board meeting of the Ormsby Literary Society, the chair, Byron Sheardown, suggested that we open a YouTube channel and start an interview series. Board member Trevor Marc Hughes jumped at the suggestion. “I’ve got filmmaking experience,” he said,…
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1752 The hold of place and family

Why I’m Here: A Novel by Jill Frayne Edmonton: NeWest Press, 2022 $21.95 / 9781774390498 Reviewed by Valerie Green * Jill Frayne’s book Why I’m Here is a combination of the strong pull of family, overwhelming heartache and puzzling mystery. The book is a compelling read set against the fierce splendour of the Yukon. The…
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