When reading radiant, dialogue-rich stories like the title story, I felt I was at the table sharing a bottle of wine with the French and English couples in the 400 year old village of Cipières, France. What a gift to be able to travel like this. What I did not expect was the dramatic plot shifts. I often finished a story and could only marvel at the directions in which the plot turned.
Jeannie Guthrie, a sixteen-year-old Scottish farm worker, discovers that she has a frightening talent the day she is attacked by her cousin. Believing that she has killed him and fearing that she will be branded as a witch, she flees. The only thing she takes is a journal through which she tells her intriguing tale of myth and magic.
Cline also gives his opinions on controversial and popular issues. He gives clarity about stories in the media. He talks about the toll his career took on his personal life and the hopes and dreams he had as a politician. He relates humorous and embarrassing encounters, travel stories and human interest material. He reveals the many challenges and victories involved in working in a governing role.
Carnival Glass by Bonnie Dunlop Published by Thistledown Press Review by Leeann Minogue $16.95 ISBN: 978-1-897235-46-1 There are eleven perfectly crafted stories in Carnival Glass, Bonnie Dunlop’s second short story collection. Carnival Glass is the title of one of the strongest stories in this book, but also an apt description of several of the characters that live within its pages: colourful, lovely, but ultimately fragile. These are tales of letters not sent, truths not told, and hurts that are hidden inside. Like carnival glass, Dunlop’s stories are beautiful, and worth collecting. Almost all of these eleven stories are set in Saskatchewan, many of them in small towns near the Great Sand Hills in the southwestern part of the province, and some in unnamed prairie cities. Some of them, like “The Road to Tofino”, take prairie characters to unfamiliar places like Victoria or Puerto Vallarta. The heroine of ‘Ordinary Lives’, Joanie, is a fledgling writer who corresponds with an unlikely pen pal. His advice is directed specifically to writers from unique places like Saskatchewan. “…The problem for writers coming from such places is not so much in finding stories – they are plentiful – but being able to write these stories…
Opening Caruso’s book is like opening your family photo albums. You’ll delight in remembering special events like graduations, reunions, and weddings. Equally special are the every day but never mundane events like children running through the sprinkler in the backyard or standing on a stool stirring cookie batter. Cooking is an important part of Italian culture. Caruso walks us through the art of salad making, cooking perfect pasta, and making miraculously healing chicken soup. This book is a legacy to her family with her pride shining through in every page. Caruso poignantly shares details of her life. Her book is sometimes humourous like Uncle Nick dancing at a wedding, sometimes sad like when grandma died when Caruso was thirteen years old, but always entertaining.
Like numerous other professional writers’, Heidi Garnett’s work had appeared in reputable literary journals and chapbooks, was broadcast on CBC, and earned her awards. She had honed her craft at the renowned Banff Centre, and participated in other creative writing programs. In short, the poet had an impressive curriculum vitae before her first book, “Phosphorus,” was ever published, and the proof of her apprenticeship is in the quality of the poems themselves.
Current Greystone Theatre director, Dwayne Brenna – known to many as a writer, actor, and “Eddie Gustafson” on CBC SK Radio — has orchestrated a history of Greystone with essays and black and white archival photographs that reveal the theatre’s finest hours — and some of its darkest – in “Emrys’ Dream:
Greystone Theatre in Photographs and Words.”
The Red River Flood of 1997 swallowed a large portion of southern Manitoba, leaving in its wake stories of tragedy and heroism. The wall of water that crawled toward Winnipeg caused the evacuation of more than twenty-five thousand people, two thousand head of cattle and forty-five thousand chickens. Tens of thousands more were evacuated in the United States, including forty-six thousand residents of Grand Forks, North Dakota. For most, it was a disaster of epic proportions. For Owen and Andrew, the young protagonists in Kevin Mark Fournier’s first novel, it’s an opportunity for escape.
First Mountain by Paulette Dubé Published by Thistledown Press Review by Sharon Adam $15.95 ISBN 978-1-897235-33-1 This volume of poetry is thin, but the contents are definitely not. Ms Dubé layers her writer’s voice with a variety of subjects, all of which populate her life in the mountains. Time and space revolve around images that are both familiar and spiritual. Her sharp observations and specific recollections engage the reader and encourage further exploration into this small but powerful time capsule. The pattern of words that the author evokes rises from her experiences living in the foothills of Jasper, Alberta. They evoke feelings of peace and calm while triggering memories in our own lives. The poems are not titled, rather they are numbered like the pages of a diary, or journal. They meander throughout the landscape, bringing the life of the wilderness to the heart of the suburbanite. These reflections of time and place introduce a sense of calm and quiet the mind so that our inner voices can hear and respond to the rhythm and cadence of the poetry. She has pushed back the of wave of civilization with its tendency to erode our natural life experience. The journal style…
In this 469-page novel, Nolan Taylor, a Canadian women’s wheelchair basketball Olympic champion, searches for a new identity after hip-replacement surgery. The title has multiple meanings, referring to her position on the team as well as her post-operative angst: “I was an elite wheelchair basketball player. The centre for Team Canada. The Big Girl. The Post. Now, I am a… former elite wheelchair basketball player: the post-Post.”