Book Review of Novel ‘Melt’ by Heidi Wicks

Reviewed in The Miramichi Reader by Patricia Sandberg

Melt is a modern relationship story: friends, husbands and wives, parents and children with the challenges that these connections bring. The author Heidi Wicks employs snappy, smart and frank dialogue to get into the minds and hearts of the two modern protagonists and adeptly builds scenes.

See my full book review of novel Melt by Heidi Wicks in The Miramichi Reader. Melt is published by Breakwater Books Ltd.

Heidi Wicks has written for The Telegram, The Independent, Newfoundland Quarterly, CBC, and The Globe and Mail. In 2019, she won the Cox and Palmer Creative Writing Award. She lives in St. John’s. 

See my other book reviews here: Skin House by Michael Blouin, Cottagers and Indians by Drew Hayden Taylor, Impurity by Larry Tremblay, Rising Tides edited by Catriona Sandilands, and The Group of Seven, Reimagined edited by Karen Schauber. To read some reviews of my book Sun Dogs and Yellowcake, click here.

Skin House, A book review and recommend

Review in The Miramichi Reader of Skin House by Michael Blouin.

I’m very pleased to share my review in The Miramichi Reader of Skin House by Michael Blouin.

Skin House got me with this line on its back cover: “Skin House is a story about two guys who end up in the same bar they started out in.” I thought, sweet, a kind of modern Waiting for Godot storyWrong. But oh, so good in what it does do.

The book is irreverent and saucy, unexpected and poignant, none of which gives it enough credit. You can read the review here

Michael Blouin has won the ReLit Award (Best Novel), been shortlisted for the Amazon First Novel Award, the bp Nichol Award, the CBC Literary Award, and is a winner of the Diana Brebner Award and the 2012 Lampman Award from ARC magazine and has been published in a host of prestigious literary magazines.

Skin House is written by Michael Blouin and published by Anvil Press Publishers, Vancouver and is on the 2020 longlist for The Miramichi Reader’s “The Very Best!” Book Awards for Best Fiction.

To see my other book reviews: Rising Tides: Reflections for Climate Changing Times (nonfiction); and The Group of Seven Reimagined (nonfiction).

Rising Tides: Reflections for Climate Changing Times, Book Review

I’m very pleased to share my review in The Miramichi Reader of the climate change anthology Rising Tides.

We live on this earth without reflecting sufficiently on how we impact it. Through story, poetry and personal climate testimonies, Rising Tides offers us a window into the feelings and views of forty-two writers closely connected to the climate crisis.

“The way rain falls the spring of life seed to root, stem to leaves. Oh trees, weather maker, life shaper, air sweet. Language of snail, moss lichen. Everything returns …” The intricate simplicity and beauty of Hiromi Goto’s language in ‘This is the Way’ particularly resonated with me, reinforcing one of the anthology’s messages to observe and listen to the change around us.

You can read the review here. Rising Tides is edited by Catriona Sandilands and published by Caitlin Press.

The Group of Seven Reimagined, Book Review

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In The Group of Seven Reimagined: Contemporary Stories Inspired by Historic Canadian Paintings, editor Karen Schauber has paired twenty-one beautifully-reproduced works of art by The Group of Seven and associated artists with fine storytelling by prominent, contemporary writers. The writers each chose a painting that resonated with them and wrote a story inspired by what they saw.

The Group of Seven Reimagined, edited by Karen Schauber

Like a fine wine with dinner, some things cry out to be paired. In Reimagined, the nearly hundred-year-old brandy that was the Group of Seven is introduced to a fresh vibrant cuisine that is flash fiction, and both are the richer for it.

The Ottawa Review of Books published my full review of this book in its October edition. For information about how the project developed, biographies of the writers included, or to purchase, visit the book website.

Edited by Karen Schauber.
Published 2019 by Heritage House. ISBN – 978-1-77203-288-8.
Available through Heritage House and Amazon.ca.

AY Jackson of The Group of Seven visited Gunnar Mines and Uranium City twice to paint. Jackson, along with Lawren Harris, also painted many times at Great Bear Lake, the site of Port Radium’s uranium mine.

Leroy by Karen Garry – a message for all

First impressions can be deceiving! This is not a children’s book

Leroy-Not a children’s book

I encountered Leroy and Karen Garry a couple weeks ago when I spoke at the Canadian Authors – Metro Vancouver meeting. My topic was the use of ‘voice’ in writing and I shared some of my experience with marketing. Karen had been asking me many questions, and at the end of the meeting, we exchanged books: her book Leroy for my Sun Dogs and Yellowcake. Two more opposite books you couldn’t imagine.

Leroy – the message

When Karen told me her book was an adult book, I thought I had misheard her. I was looking at a book that looked more like a children’s book. She was right of course.

Leroy is a commentary on our changing earth, changing because of our actions and inaction. Karen peppers the pages with colourful, detailed and whimsical drawings, felted creatures, block text that is as compelling as the drawings, and a heartfelt message that even a child could understand.

To buy your own copy of Leroy, visit www.heartshapedrawk.com
You can follow Karen on Instagram @heartshapedrawk and on Facebook

She had also been multi-tasking, as the following sketches of me show. Aren’t they fun?

I seem to have shed a few years. Very grateful.

Sandberg at Canadian Authors presentation

 

Karen Garry drawing