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, by 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, Tell. 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…

Review: Leaving Tomorrow, by David Bergen

It seems every time I pick up a novel associated with the Giller Prize, I am disappointed or frustrated, a response which likely has more to do with my own tastes or lack thereof, than of the literary works which garner such esteem. However, Leaving Tomorrow, by David Bergen, once again had me scratching my head. The novel is set in Alberta’s ranch country during America’s Vietnam War, and explores the spiritual and physical journey…

Review: Only Time Will Tell, by Jeffrey Archer

I have to admit I’ve never read anything by Jeffrey Archer, most likely because I tend to avoid blockbuster novels. But the setting and time period of this one intrigued me, and not realizing this was the first of a seven book series known as the Clifton Chronicles, I figured why not. Set after WWI, Only Time Will Tell opens with a charming idyll set around the Bristol docks, introducing us to Harry Clifton, brilliant and truant boy who…

Review: Son of a Trickster and Trickster Drift

I had to think for awhile about Eden Robinson’s first two novels in her Trickster trilogy, Son of a Trickster, which was shortlisted for the Giller in 2018, and Trickster Drift. The novels tell the story of Jared, a burned-out kid of mid-adolescence, living on the west coast of Canada in an Haisla Nation family. To say his family dynamics are abusive and dysfunctional would be understatement. With no moral compass but his own sense…