Browsing Category Book Reviews

Lady Thelma Furness was the other woman King Edward VIII loved before Wallis Simpson

When a first-time novelist produces a best-seller, it’s no small achievement. After reading, The Woman Before Wallace, A Novel of Windsors, Vanderbilts and Royal Scandal by Bryn Turnbull I can see why her book became such a success. And historical fiction is my favourite genre. It’s well-written, engrossing, and especially satisfying when the author is a fellow Canadian. It’s the story of Lady Thelma Furness, King…

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Author treats communist rule in Ukraine with unusual humour

Do you ever read a book and find yourself thinking, “How on earth did the author ever come up with this stuff”? That was my reaction to Good Citizens Need Not Fear by Maria Reva. It’s a satirical commentary on life in Ukraine during perestroika in the late seventies—and I absolutely loved it. Who would have ever thought communism could be treated with humour? She could…

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Mary L. Trump is clearly not a fan of her uncle, Donald Trump

When I first started reading Too Much and Never Enough, How My Family Created The World’s Most Dangerous Man by Mary L. Trump, niece of Donald Trump, I honestly was not sure I’d have the stomach to finish it—but I did, in less than two days. Watching the Donald Trump horror show and the collapse of the United States has not been a pleasant experience…

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American Dirt exposes timely and shocking insights into the plight of migrants

Jeanine Cummins, author of the best-selling novel American Dirt has been roundly criticized for writing a book about a politically sensitive subject she wasn’t born into. The cultural appropriation accusation is frequently hurled at authors and it’s a nasty term. American Dirt is the story of a Mexican woman and her eight-year-old son who are fleeing the wrath of a cartel in Mexico by trying to illegally cross…

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The Glass Hotel spins the Bernie Madoff story into some unputdownable fiction

This is one of those times I’m tempted to start my book review with a simple, “Wow! That was great!” I’m giving you the spoiler alert right upfront. The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel is a current best-seller but it is hard to qualify by genre. It’s a bit mystery, a bit historical fiction and a bit ephemeral in spirit. It’s particularly satisfying for me…

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It’s Not All Downhill From Here . . . a great story about the value of female friendships

For some strange reason, when I downloaded It’s Not All Downhill From Here by Terry McMillan, I thought the author was a male Canadian humour writer. Obviously I somehow got my wires crossed because Terry McMillan is, in fact, a black American woman who has written several books including the best-sellers Waiting to Exhale and How Stella Got Her Groove Back. You’d have thought the cover art would…

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