Religion & spirituality

Encounters of a naturalist priest

“Certainly, nature enthusiasts and those who enjoy the spiritual connection to all wildlife will relish this very informative and educational book.” Valerie Green reviews Wildlife Congregations: A Priest’s Year of Gaggles, Colonies and Murders by the Salish Sea by Laurel Dykstra (Surrey: Hancock House Publishers, 2024) $24.95 / 9780888397539

The Old Norse world, rewoven

Epic poetry that’s a “respectful, evocative, beautiful even, and artful” reimagining of premodern Scandinavia magic. —Harold Rhenisch reviews Sigrene’s Bargain with Odin, by Zoë Landale (Toronto: Inanna Publications, 2023)
$19.95 / 9781771339681

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

‘To go north and missionize’

“In this present book, Ross has himself embarked on a mission, in the Christian sense. It has been a mission of love in which he engages in re-missionizing his own denomination to a better understanding of its historical relations with the Indigenous people whom the Northland Mission set out to reach.” Richard Butler reviews The Holy Spirit and the Eagle Feather: the Struggle for Indigenous Pentecostalism in Canada by Aaron A.M. Ross (Montreal: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2023) $39.95 ISBN 9780228017660

Exploring a postwar childhood tradition

“People who attended summer camp, or who wish they had, or who, like myself, sent their children to camp, will enjoy the shared memories.” Phyllis Reeve reviews My Paddle’s Keen and Bright: Summer Camp Stories by Rika Ruebsaat (Vancouver: New Star Books, 2023) $24 / 9781554201884

‘Posthumous gathering of paths’

“There is much to learn from this candid autobiography by a performer who rarely let the mask slip…” Linda Rogers reviews The Tao of Taro by Taro Zion Joy (Victoria: FriesenPress, 2022) $16.49 / 9781039148666

Rage + sin = freedom

Exceptional essays “elicit gasps, induce chills.” —Brett Josef Grubisic reviews Dinner on Monster Island: Essays, by Tania De Rozario (Toronto: HarperCollins Canada, 2024) $17.99 / 9780063299665

Sleuthing Buddhist butler. (Hijinx ensue.)

Lighthearted murder mystery leaves reviewer “with a sense of deep satisfaction.” —Trish Bowering reviews A Meditation on Murder, by Susan Juby (Toronto: HarperCollins Canada, 2024) $19.99 / 9781443469524

An Everywoman for Iran’s last century

Debut novelist “explores the meaning of love, family loyalty, the struggle for self-expression, and devotion to homeland in times of constant upheaval.” —Daniel Gawthrop reviews Zulaikha, by Niloufar-Lily Soltani (Toronto: Inanna Publications, 2023) $24.95 / 9781771339568

Desperately seeking Azy

Sophomore novel features a “brash anti-hero moving through an eerie, gothic landscape.” —Bill Paul reviews The Father of Rain, by Martin West (Vancouver: Anvil Press, 2023) $22.95 / 9781772142105

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 where sorrow and joy converge

Poems help us withstand the grief of loss and change… Trish Bowering reviews Moorings, by Christopher Levenson (Qualicum Beach: Caitlin Press, 2023) 9781773861272 / $20.00

1929 Perseverance in a closed community

Stillwater by Darcy Friesen Hossack  New Westminster: Tidewater Press, 2023 $22.95 / 9781990160202 Reviewed by Candace Fertile * Darcy Friesen Hossack’s debut novel, Stillwater, plays on her own Mennonite and Seventh-day Adventist (SDA) background. The main character, Lizzy, a teenage girl with aspirations of a medical career, is forced to move with her family to…
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1873 Last words, famous and otherwise

Not Quite So Handsome By Danny Peart Vancouver: Milagro Press, 2022 $20.00 / 9780994932969 Reviewed by Patrick Connors  *  Vancouver’s Danny Peart begins Not Quite So Handsome with the poem “Intention,” which serves as sort of a prologue to the collection. The epigraph of the poem features lyrics from “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” by…
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1853 Trust the tale not the teller?

Storylines: How Words Shape Our World by J. Edward Chamberlin Madeira Park, BC: Douglas & McIntyre, 2023 $26.95  /  9781771623513 Reviewed by Ron Verzuh * British novelist D.H. Lawrence once quipped that readers should trust the tale and not the teller. What did he mean? Prof emeritus J. Edward Chamberlin offers some possible answers in…
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1822 The mixing of textual & visual

Sixty-Seven Ontological Studies: 49 Poems & 18 Photographs by Jan Zwicky & Robert V. Moody Calgary: Freehand Books, 2022 $24.95  /  9781990601095 Reviewed by Ron Dart * Poetry and photography, when at their compressed, suggestive and congealed best, speak a speech that evokes and summons forth depths within the longing soul. Such is the poetry…
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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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