Coteau Books / 20 December 2013

Dollybird by Anne Lazurko Published by Coteau Books Reviewed by Jackie Blakely $19.95 ISBN 978-1-55050-563-4 Dollybird, by Anne Lazurko, is a hopeful tale of love and loss on the Canadian prairies in the early 1900’s. Written in first person narrative, Lazurko brings to life the stories of Dillan, an Irish immigrant from Cape Breton, fleeing memories of a dead wife and poverty, and Moira from Halifax, pregnant and sent to Saskatchewan by her parents until the baby is born and adopted. Lazurko weaves their tales, chapter by chapter, as the two strangers struggle to come to terms with loss and change while making a new life for themselves in Ibsen, Saskatchewan. Beautifully set in the backdrop of the Canadian prairie wilderness, Dollybird is a remembrance of hardship and new frontiers. While Dillan tries desperately to get over the death of his wife shortly after childbirth, Moira struggles with being abandoned by her lover and her parents, forced to live in the middle of an unsettled land until her child is born and she can resume her dream of becoming a doctor. When Moira takes a job as Dillan’s housekeeper – his dollybird – she finds herself becoming more accustomed to…

The Daughter of a Lumberjack
JackPine Press / 20 December 2013

The Daughter of a Lumberjack by Melanie Merasty Published by JackPine Press Review by Alison Slowski $30 ISBN 978-1-927035-08-5 In this novel idea for a suite of poetry, we meet two recurring characters: a young woman and her father, the lumberjack. The reader can smell the gorgeous pine, can almost taste the sap, and can see the lumberjack father’s stubbly grey beard glittering in the light of the morning sun rising over the tops of the trees. This group of poems tells the story of a woman trying to understand her father through the framework of his history and trade. Allusions are made to her immigrant grandfather, the teacher of her father in the trade. The family’s home life is delicately touched on in “Kindling.” The collection paints a picture of the man himself. Some themes explored in this collection of poetry are that of family, of the trials and tribulations they face as the family of a lumberjack, and of the bonds that keep them together, stronger than the chains a lumberjack uses for cutting down trees. The poem “Sap” in particular tells us of Merasty’s journey: “As if I know the way a tree falls the way it…

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