Readers familiar with Margaret Millar’s suspense novels, will immediately recognize her style and language in Wives and Lovers. (Just yesterday I discussed Vanish in an Instant, another volume in the Syndicate reprint series.)
“It was a shoebox of a room, with the ceiling pressed down on it like a lid, and Gordon and herself, two mis-mated […]
Promise Falls has a history. You might not think so, but it matters.
“Are we too insignificant up here: A couple of hours away from New York? Is that what we’re foolish enough to think? Let me tell you something, my friend. You want to strike fear into the hearts of Americans? Then go to […]
“My books aren’t romances per se; they don’t even necessarily feature happy endings any more, they just conclude with hopeful moments that allow the reader to decide whether widows have the strength to go on or divorced dads find love for a second time.”
And there is nothing romantic about the idea of serial monogamy. One cannot […]
It’s with a subtle touch, but Nadia Bozak solidly roots the reader in time and place.
House of Anansi, 2016
This is not an easy task, because Shell only grows to the age of seventeen in Thirteen Shells — across thirteen stories, and childhood is inherently rootless.
So the details noted must be those within a child’s […]
“You think that would have changed things?” “The answer is of course, and for a while, and never.”
In interview with Eleanor Wachtel, Nick Hornby discusses the “problem of being divided being two worlds” saying that many of us have a version of this in our own lives.
This is true for the narrator of this […]
A new Friday fugue, running through this month, considering the ways in which our working lives appear on the pages of novels and short stories.
Some of my favourite novels spend a good amount of time considering the good amount of time that we spend in our workplaces.
Joshua Ferris’ And Then We Came to […]
Sometimes, when I begin reading an Alice Munro story, I am overwhelmed by a sense of “there it is”. It’s a feeling of immediate and undeniable recognition of familiar elements.
Like the beginning of “Nettles”, which begins with firmly rooting the reader in a time and place.
It is summer. It is 1979. The narrator […]
The reader moves onto the floor with great excitement, turning the initial pages of a debut novel, heartbeat slightly accelerated, hopes and expectations heightened. It is a dance: this movement between reader and story. Alice Simpson’s Ballroom takes that connection seriously.
The very structure of the novel mirrors the movements on a […]
As an only child, my fascination with large families in fiction stretches back to the Marches, the Moffats and the All-of-a-Kinds.
More recently, Jennifer Close’s The Smart One and Jami Attenberg’s The Middlesteins catapulted me into chaotic family-soaked gatherings (the latter was one of my favourite reads in 2013).
Grand Central Publishing, Hachette Book Group, 2014
Elise Juska’s novel differs […]