• The Road Trip by Beth O'Leary
    Books,  General,  Reviews,  Uncategorized

    The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary (Review)

    Happy publication day to The Road Trip by Beth O’Leary! Thank you to the lovely folks at Berkley Jove for my ARC.   One of my favourite parts of following an author’s career in real time or even discovering an author and making my way through their backlist is seeing how their work changes, grows, develops, the boundaries they push and break and the risks they take that pay off…and those that don’t. I’d put The Road Trip somewhere in the middle of that last scale. What I love about Beth’s work is that she retains her unique sensibilities (charming…

  • Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
    Articles,  Books,  General,  Literary,  Reviews

    Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (Review)

    Imagine a deadly lightning-fast virus that decimates 99% of the world’s population without warning. Imagine surviving such a cataclysmic event and having to adjust to a world nothing like anyone has ever known. Flung back in time, before electricity and planes and antibiotics and the internet. Except, this is nothing like time travel. Not when many of the survivors remember exactly what it was like. Remember everyone they lost. Remember the world before the end of civilisation as we all know it. The story begins dramatically, literally and thematically. In Toronto’s Elgin Theatre, during a performance of King Lear, aging…

  • Lavinia by Ursula Le Guin
    Articles,  Books,  fiction,  General,  Literary,  Reviews

    Lavinia by Ursula Le Guin (Review)

    Lavinia is the only daughter of King Latinus and Queen Amata. The latter, made unstable by the grief of losing two sons, strongly wishes for her to marry her own sister’s boy, King Turnus. But the oracle has prophesised that Lavinia is to marry a foreigner (who ends up being Aeneas, the Trojan prince) soon making his way to their shores, and that their descendants would found a great empire. Thanks to Ursula Le Guin, Lavinia, barely mentioned in Vergil’s Aeneid, can finally tell her story.  “I am not the feminine voice you may have expected. Resentment is not what…

  • Articles,  Books,  General,  Literary,  Reviews

    Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik (Review)

    The real story isn’t half as pretty as the one you’ve heard.  So begins Spinning Silver. I had heard many good things about Naomi Novik’s Uprooted for me to put it on my to-read list for this year. But as these things go, I came across this more recent release of hers on the Boston Public Library’s Lucky Day shelves and couldn’t resist picking it up. Strong leading ladies, magic, fairy-tale retellings–what more does one want. The start was slow, but I enjoyed the gradual unfolding and introduction to the character of Miryem, supposedly the main protagonist, as she and her…

  • Articles,  Books,  General,  Literary,  Reviews

    The Little French Bistro by Nina George (Review)

    My experience with this author’s previous book, The Little Paris Bookstore, had been rather patchy. But when I read the synopsis for this, I couldn’t not give it a try, Marianne, an unhappy wife in an oppressive marriage of forty-one years, decides to end it all on a holiday to Paris, only to be saved by a good Samaritan. In the hospital, she comes across a painted tile from Kerdruc, a tiny Breton village in what is routinely known as the end of the world, and feels strangely compelled to go there, even if to end her life in the…

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