A sheaf of overdue reviews

During recovery from two knee replacements, I read a great deal, but didn’t have the wherewithal to write reviews. So, this post will cover several novels I read during 2019. The Stolen Child, by Lisa Carey The Stolen Child by Lisa Carey My rating: 3 of 5 stars A middling story which attempts to delve into mysticism and ends up being yet another escapist tale drawing upon Celtic lore and unspoken agendas. This was one…

Review: Educated, by Tara Westover

Educated by Tara Westover My rating: 1 of 5 stars There isn’t a lot I could write to recommend this book to anyone, simply because it isn’t so much an autobiography as a fantasy fiction. Allegedly–and I do use the term advisedly, because many of Westover’s assertions lack any corroborating evidence, beyond her assertion–she was raised by fringe, likely mentally unstable parents who pursued a survivalist, conspiracy-theory lifestyle in Idaho. Where do I begin? Perhaps…

Review: Leaving Tomorrow, by David Bergen

Leaving Tomorrow by David Bergen My rating: 4 of 5 stars If you haven’t read anything by David Bergen, and you appreciate CanLit, I suggest you look him up. I was introduced to his writing in Leaving Tomorrow, and for this harsh critic the novel ticked all the boxes. David demonstrates his ability as a writer through his flawless plot, intriguing and believable characters, his attention to environmental and cultural detail, and his use of…

Review: The Testaments, by Margaret Atwood

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood My rating: 5 of 5 stars It would seem Margaret Atwood’s summation of The Handmaid’s Tale has solicited, as much of her work, strong reaction. For myself, it was a fascinating and plausible development of background for the nation of Gilead, its founders and visionaries, despotic and reactionary as they are, as well as those who sought to destroy the regime from within. Without giving away too much of the…

Review: Warlight, by Michael Ondaatje

Warlight by Michael Ondaatje My rating: 5 of 5 stars Ondaatje’s Warlight is a masterfully crafted post-WWII intrigue, rife with subtlety and elegant prose, brilliant characters with shady histories. It is a story about secrets, both personal and national, about nuance and perception, and the sometimes ambiguity of relationships. Nathaniel and his sister find themselves placed into the care of a somewhat disreputable, spider-like character known only to them as The Moth, a benevolently neglectful,…

Review: the works of Michelle Moran

In which I review Michelle Moran’s work Cleopatra’s Daughter Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran My rating: 3 of 5 stars During my recovery from knee replacement surgery, I took to some easy reading, something historical which required nothing of me, no intellectual stimulus, no literary demands, not particularly inspiring but rather something which would simply transport me to another place and time and allow the healing process to occur. So it was I discovered Michelle…

Review: Above All Things, by Tanis Rideout

Above All Things by Tanis Rideout My rating: 5 of 5 stars It is a stunning achievement that Tanis Rideout should write such a polished, captivating, gorgeous novel, made even more remarkable by the fact this is her first published novel. From the subtle opening hook to the shattering last paragraph, Above All Things sated my appetite for impeccably crafted fiction. Above All Things is a rich historical novel which recounts George Mallory’s epic assent…

Review: Only Time Will Tell, by Jeffrey Archer

I’ve been away It’s been a busy and long year, mostly having to do with two knee replacements, recovery, and regaining mobility and strength. Hence the reason I’ve been derelict in reviewing books, although I have been reading voraciously. I’m now setting to catching up, and here’s my first review since returning to the office. Only Time Will Tell, by Jeffrey Archer, a beige read Only Time Will Tell by Jeffrey Archer My rating: 3…

Review: Then She Was Gone, by Lisa Jewell

Then She Was Gone,┬áby Lisa Jewell, is a complete departure from my usual reading fare: thriller, whodunit, mental illness crime. Jewell offers up a perfect golden girl who suddenly goes missing at the age of 15, and the resulting fallout for her family, most particularly her mother. The novel is sketched with safe tropes and cardboard characters, known entities for lovers of this genre. Everyone is beautiful and brilliant except for the villains who are…

Review: Tell, by Frances Itani

Seems I have spent a great deal of time reading during my knee replacement recovery, and a lot of it rather unsatisfactory. So, guess what, here comes another downer review from me, this time for Frances Itani’s Giller Finalist,┬áTell. I know, I know, another Giller novel. And we already know my antipathy for Gillers, which leads one to ask: Lorina, why do you keep doing this? I suppose I keep delving into Giller novels because…