Archive for the ‘Canada’ Category

THE TARTARUS HOUSE ON CRAB by George Szanto

Jack Tartarus comes to his family house on Crab bent on destruction. What follows instead is a reconstruction of his life on this small island near Vancouver, a reuniting of family and neighbors, a closer understanding of those who have died, and the forging of new bonds.

March 16, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Canada, Contemporary, Drift-of-Life, Family Matters

CATCH ME WHEN I FALL by Patricia Westerhof

Whenever she doubts her role as “just a housewife,” Vicky recalls Oma, giving her the above advice. Oma had escaped to Canada from Holland in January 1945 with Vicky’s father and her other four children with nothing but the clothes they wore, the family Bible and a piece of paper giving the name of somebody to contact. Now, Vicky wants to make good by bringing her Alzheimer suffering father into her home.

March 16, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Canada, Family Matters, Short Stories

ANNABEL by Kathleen Winter

Being born a hermaphrodite is a very hard road to hoe. It is especially hard when you are born in remote Labrador in 1968. The nearest specialist is miles away and living in a town that does not relish diversity. Even today, in large urban areas, there is a lot of controversy about what to do about gender when an infant is born with ambiguous sex organs. Some doctors utilize blood tests to determine gender and others go by outward appearance. A true hermaphrodite is born one in 81,000 births.

January 6, 2011 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Canada, Class - Race - Gender, Contemporary, Reading Guide

LATE NIGHTS ON AIR by Elizabeth Hay

If a heart is torn apart in the Canadian arctic and no one hears it, did it really happen? Elizabeth Hay would answer a resounding “yes.”

All of her characters – a diverse group of wounded lost souls who work together in a small Yellowknife radio station in the mid-1970s – are aching. Harry – the curmudgeonly acting manager with the cauliflower ear – has returned from a gig in television with his tail between his legs. Dido ran from the only man she ever loved – her own father-in-law — and quickly connects with the station “bad boy,” Eddy. Eleanor fled from the memories of a husband who could not consummate their reunion. And Gwen, the youngest, who arrives at Yellowknife “subtle in her camouflage” with a buff-grey shirt with a pale brown collar and no adornment, is looking to make a fresh start in an area in which fresh starts are legendary.

December 22, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: ,  · Posted in: Canada, Character Driven, Contemporary, Drift-of-Life, Giller Prize, Literary, Reading Guide, y Award Winning Author

FALL by Colin McAdam

I’d seen FALL described as a “literary whodunit,” and was looking forward to some good sleuthing. It’s not quite like that. Mystery is involved, but plot and intrigue are entirely secondary to the study of adolescent development.

The two main narrative voices are Noel and Julius, both students at St Edbury’s – a Canadian high school for the children of the wealthy. Julius’s narration is an unpunctuated stream of consciousness, immediate and sensory. He’s good-looking, not overly bright and (as the story progresses) increasingly shown to be good-natured.

December 13, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , ,  · Posted in: Canada, Coming-of-Age, Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense, Reading Guide, y Award Winning Author

THE LAST RIVER CHILD by Lori Ann Bloomfield

The setting is Walvern, a small village in rural Ontario, where everybody knows everybody else. Or they think they know them, for acquaintance can turn easily into gossip and suspicion. Peg Staynor, the heroine, becomes a victim of it, even as a child. For her curiously pale grey eyes and solitary manner play into local suspicions that she is a “river child,” the reincarnation of someone previously drowned, who will bring them bad luck. It is a barely credible device (and unfortunately not the only example of somewhat strained plotting), but it works well as a metaphor for a loneliness that gradually turns into independence and strength. For this is essentially a coming-of-age story with a sweet touch of romance, and Peg makes a heroine who is very easy to care about.

December 3, 2010 · Judi Clark · No Comments
Tags: , , , , ,  · Posted in: Canada, Coming-of-Age, Debut Novel, Facing History, Family Matters