Yet another book that I heard about on The Next Chapter, Mary Walsh’s debut novel Crying For The Moon was a great recommendation and had me engaged from start to finish. The story follows the first person narration of young Maureen in 1960s Newfoundland. It’s a poignant coming of age story crossed with a low key mystery wherein adult things start happening to the average, non-adult Maureen. She finds herself being forced to grow up sooner than any teenager should. Now, when I say she ‘grows up,’ I don’t mean right away, nor do I mean that she does it with responsibility or grace or confidence or smarts–quite the opposite actually, for the most part. Maureen’s simple, passive, and simultaneously reactive nature is partly what allows herself to become tangled up in these adult situations, and she learns quickly that no one’s going to help her get out of it, except herself.
From the minute I heard about this book on an episode of The Next Chapter CBC podcast, I knew I wanted to read it. Barbara Gowdy’s Little Sister has quite an intriguing premise, not to mention a rather creepy, enticing cover. It takes place in Toronto, Ontario and follows a third-person narrative of Rose Bowan. Rose is in her thirties and owns an old movie theatre with her mother, who is gradually losing herself to dementia. Something strange begins happening to Rose during that summer; every time a thunderstorm occurs in the area, she finds herself losing consciousness and has vivid, realistic encounters whilst inhabiting another woman’s body. Rose sets out to find this other woman to see if she’s real, in hopes that she can come face-to-face with her eventually.
I read Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham over a month ago, and figured I should probably get around to reviewing it…someday…maybe (cue eye roll).
I first heard about this book when I read Lauren Graham’s memoir Talking As Fast As I Can last November. I had no idea she had written fiction as well, and I really enjoyed her memoir, so I decided to pick this one up.
Someday, Someday Maybe follows a rather cliched sounding story: a young woman, Franny Banks, is pursuing an acting career in New York City while working as a waitress part time – but that’s one of the things I liked about this book. Even though is was a storyline we’ve seen before, it still managed to be unique on its own and even challenged the cliche a little. Continue reading
I once heard someone describe this book as ‘hipster’ poetry, and I can see why. It discusses a lot of mainstream issues: love, relationships, sex and feminism, but from the author’s personal, sometimes dark experiences. Milk and Honey was written by young Canadian author Rupi Kaur and has been incredibly popular in the book world lately. Kaur, you might recall, is the young woman responsible for the photo essay that explored menstruation taboos. When she shared one of the photos on Instagram, it was deleted, proving the exact point that Kaur was trying to make: “A majority of people, societies, and communities shun this natural process. Some are more comfortable with the pornification of women, the sexualization of women, the violence and degradation of women than this. They cannot be bothered to express their disgust about all that, but will be angered and bothered by this” (Kaur, Instagram post, March 24, 2015).
I fully support what Rupi Kaur stands for and what she’s trying to do with her work, and I think Milk and Honey is very relevant to today’s society for the exact reasons Kaur mentioned above. But is it good poetry?
Since I’m not very familiar with how to analyze or review poetry, I sought out the help of my best friend, Tess Lund, who has a double major in English and Writing. She gave me a little lesson in poetry and after a quick flip through and analysis of the first few poems, she informed me that no, Milk and Honey in her educated opinion, is not the amazing piece of poetic literature everyone seems to think it is. After hearing her reasoning, I have to say I agree.
I mentioned in my review of The Break that it was a finalist for the Canada Reads discussion, which just happened two weeks ago. The panel consisted of Candy Palmater defending The Break, Humble the Poet defending Fifteen Dogs, Chantal Kreviazuk defending The Right to be Cold, Measha Brueggergosman defending Company Town, and Jody Mitic defending Nostalgia.
The Break by Katherena Vermette has been quite popular in the world of books lately. A national bestseller, The Break has received an abundance of literary attention, from being a 2016 Governor General’s Literary Finalist to a 2017 Canada Reads Finalist, and much more in between.
The story centres around an extended family of Indigenous women living in Winnipeg’s North End. The synopsis on the back is as follows: “When Stella, a young Métis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break — a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house — she calls the police to alert them to a possible crime.” From there, The Break delves into several narratives of family, friends, and police, each connected in some way to the crime. Continue reading