Tag: family

The ‘expressive, unearthly power of weird’

An assassin, an animal ghost, and a reality TV episode hosted by twin psychics are just a samplings of the goings-on in the finalé of a small town-set comic trilogy. —Ron Verzuh reviews The Vicar Vortex, by Vince R. Ditrich (Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2024) $21.99 / 9781459747319

Thrills, suspects, paranoia

Adept thriller is a welcome cause for “a single session of binge-reading punctuated with that rapturous state of feeling appalled at human behaviour.” —Jessica Poon reviews The Haters, by Robyn Harding (New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2024) $29.00 / 9781538766101

Slinging hash up north in the ’80s

Uneven sophomore novel features sisters Rumer and Charlotte, “city girls fleeing parental bonds and disaffection with university studies.” —Trish Bowering reviews Hotel Beringia, by Mix Hart (New Westminster: Tidewater Press, 2024) $24.95 / 9781990160387

On ‘the path in front of him’

“Penetrating every corner of this cramped and desolate world, in a town with ‘the world’s shittiest beach and a lot of bitter people,’ is, unsurprisingly, alcohol. If poverty is the villain of the novel, its ruthless accomplice is alcohol.” —Theo Dombrowski reviews Bruise, by Adrian Markle (Victoria: Touchwood Editions, 2024) $24.00 / 9781990071072

Coping with a final goodbye

“[F]or those who want to understand something of human journeys—and how to mourn, how to live with grief—” this YA novel “is a study in how we might navigate.” —Alison Acheson reviews Where Was Goodbye?, by Janice Lynn Mather (Toronto: Simon & Schuster Canada, 2024) $23.99 / 9781665903950

The rhythms of mourning

With sculpted sound and rhythmic exuberance a delightful and pensive volume of poems examines the living and the lived. —Michael Greenstein reviews Talking to Strangers, by Rhea Tregebov (Montreal: Signal Editions, 2024) $13.99 / 9781550656602

A ‘fine calibration of absurdity and reality’

“Sentence by sentence, Lacroix is helping to keep literature weird, just the way it should be. Weird is good; this book is weird; this book is good.” —Jessica Poon reviews How It Works Out, by Myriam Lacroix (Toronto: Doubleday Canada, 2024) $32.00 / 9780385698405

Geopolitical thrills

Political nail-biter spans three continents, delves into brutal realpolitik, and features a plot that requires a reader’s “concentrated effort.” —Valerie Green reviews The Black State, by John Delacourt (Surrey: Now or Never Publishing, 2024) $19.95 / 9781989689608

Dealbreakers and other heartaches

Pervaded with sadness, a novelist’s sobering debut story collection examines the disappointments of romantic relationships. —Candace Fertile reviews Death by a Thousand Cuts: Stories, by Shashi Bhat (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2024) $24.95 / 9780771095115

The agony, the Ecstasy, the ‘90s

A “zippy marvel of truth bombs,” the novel captures the yearning of adolescence “with hyper-specificity, on-point sonic references, and zero condescension.” —Jessica Poon reviews Sugar Kids, by Taslim Burkowicz (Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, 2024) $24.00 / 9781773636757

‘Seriously, someone turn this book into a movie’*

Grimness, marvellous one-liners, complex characterization, and expert pacing turn a crime thrillerl into “a good, downright scathing read.” —Jessica Poon reviews Ocean Drive, by Sam Wiebe (Madeira Park: Harbour Publishing, 2024) $24.95 / 9781990776694

Elegizing Dad

Poet’s third volume delves into the poignant memories of an observant child whose father faced “impossible problems.” —Mary Ann Moore reviews Midway, by Kayla Czaga (Toronto: House of Anansi Press, 2024) $21.99 / 9781487012601

‘Fresh and new and age-old all at once’

Delightful debut YA novel “speaks … to all readers who care about becoming adult in a positive, life-embracing, world-loving way.” —Alison Acheson reviews Crash Landing, by Li Charmaine Anne (Toronto: Annick Press, 2024) $18.99 / 9781773218427

‘A shuffling of expectations’

Romance novel stands out for its approachable characters and inclusion of real-world problems. —Myshara Herbert-McMyn reviews The Predictable Heartbreaks of Imogen Finch, by Jacqueline Firkins (New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2023) $18.00 / 9781250836526

Remembrance of Ladner past

Quietly affecting novel delivers with an elegiac narrator recalling the “vibrant, creative and tragic world” of his youth. —Theo Dombrowski reviews The Marvels of Youth, by Tim Bowling (Hamilton: Wolsak and Wynn, 2023) $24.00 / 9781989496749

‘Do birds piss big?’ and other questions

By turns funny and incisive, a debut essayist is a connoisseur of everyday absurdities. —Brett Josef Grubisic reviews Laser Quit Smoking Massage: Essays, by Cole Nowicki (Edmonton: Newest Press, 2024) $21.95 / 9781774390917

A deep dive with queer fish

A poet’s debut meditates on family, ancestry, diaspora, and selfhood. —Harold Rhenisch reviews Shima, by Sho Yamagushiku (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2024) $22.50 / 9780771010927

Ghosts of the Korean divide

With mesmeric effects, a debut novel blends the beautiful, surreal, and disturbing. —Daniel Gawthrop reviews The Invisible Hotel, by Yeji Y. Ham (Toronto: Bond Street Books, 2024) $34.00 / 9780385698054

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

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

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