Girl from Dream City, The

The Girl from Dream City: A Literary Lifeby Linda LeithPublished by University of Regina PressReview by Michelle Shaw$21.95 ISBN 9780889777859 One of the joys of reviewing books is that I’m constantly discovering fascinating lives and original stories. Linda Leith is new to me, but her book is so interesting that she quickly drew me into her narrative. The Girl from Dream City is a small book, yet it manages to combine numerous aspects of Leith’s life, as well as the context of the broader literary world in which she lives and writes. First and foremost, the book is a memoir of sorts, from Leith’s early years growing up in Northern Ireland and England, with an emotionally unpredictable and volatile father, to her later years as a writer and publisher in Montreal. Leith’s early life was peripatetic and complicated. Her family was “a world unto itself” and their constant moving from country to country as her father progressed up the corporate ladder meant that no one else was really allowed into the family unit. Her father ruled the family with a strong hand and his volatility ensured he wasn’t challenged, at least not without repercussions. Only years later did she discover…

Mechanic’s Wife, The
Millenium Marketing / 28 July 2021

The Mechanic’s Wifeby Marion MutalaPublished by Millennium MarketingReview by Toby A. Welch$14.95 ISBN 9781777371302 The cover of The Mechanic’s Wife is what initially drew me in. Illustrated by Olha Tkachenko, it is a vibrant illustration of two women with an older model blue GTO between them. Things get even better once you crack the book open. We immediately delve into the life of DD, a Ukrainian detective based in Saskatoon. Her backstory is fully fleshed out in a way that makes it impossible to do anything but continue reading. The meat of this book is the story of Dwayne and Marianne. Married almost two decades, one of them isn’t thrilled with the life they have built together. Let’s just say some things happen, bringing DD, the leading criminal investigator in Canada at the time of the story, and Raunchy, her associate, into their lives. The two tackle the case of what really took place between Dwayne and Marianne.  On a side note, it’s hard not to like DD’s quirky sidekick, Raunchy. He is endlessly entertaining and provides another level to the story. Fun characters like Raunchy make any book a better read.  Author Marion Mutala is a resident of Saskatoon….


Gather: Richard Van Camp on the Joy of Storytellingby Richard Van CampPublished by University of Regina PressReview by Keith Foster$19.95 ISBN 9780889777002 In his latest book, Gather: Richard Van Camp on the Joy of Storytelling, Richard Van Camp offers sound advice on the fine art of storytelling. He shares his insights on how and where to best gather stories and shows how to tell those stories to best advantage. He also shares examples of fine storytelling from his own collection. Some of his advice is plain common sense, like showing respect for your listeners. After all, if there were no listeners, the speaker would have no reason to be there. Perhaps his most important tip is to listen to the storytellers – observe their mannerisms, how they raise or lower their voices, and especially when and where they pause. Although Gather is geared primarily to an Indigenous audience, Van Camp has ample ideas for anyone who aspires to become a storyteller. A prolific storyteller himself, he’s published twenty-five books in twenty-four years, with more on the way. He gathered many of his stories from Elders while driving a Handi-Bus in Fort Smith, NT. Van Camp claims the smartest thing he…