Category: Literary Fiction Reviews

A review of The Misconceiver by Lucy Ferriss

It’s gobsmacking how much author and prognosticator Lucy Ferris got right in this book, first published in 1997 and reissued in the wake of the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe vs. Wade. Ubiquitous online access, electronic payments, electric vehicles, environmental destruction, codified discrimination against gays and lesbians — the Lucy Ferris of the 1990s foresaw this current, fraught decade with uncanny accuracy.

A review of Bad Art Mother By Edwina Preston

There is so much about this book that is compelling. It manages to be both funny and tragic at the same time, without stereotypes or polemic. Though there are moments of bad behaviour on the part of pretty much every character, nothing is over-simplified. There are as many different ways to create art, from Jo’s food or charity work, to the Mirka Mora styled murals of Jo’s waitress Rosa, or the ikebana flower arrangements of Mrs Parish, as there are ways to be a partner, a parent, or a patron. 

A review of Just Outside the Tunnel of Love by Francine Witte

There’s heartbreak and humor, magic and flawed humanity, disappointment and longing, charming wordplay and breathtaking literary craft, but no happy endings. Cheating husbands and boyfriends abound, as do unreliable fathers, disappointed girlfriends and deceived women stretching all the way back to Eve. Literally. 

A review of Waiting for Jonathan Koshy by Murzban Shroff

Jonathan Koshy is perpetually the outsider in this story of four friends who are awaiting Koshy’s return at the comfortable residence of Bollywood child Anwar Khan, whose home becomes a focal point for the four friends: Prashant, Dhruv, the narrator, and Jonathan. They come together there on the regular, aging disgracefully and gathering to reminisce over drinks and the odd joint, laughing, supporting one another, and allowing their voices to weave in and out like different parts of the same organism as they recall their youth.

A review of The Taiga Syndrome by Cristina Rivera Garza

Throughout the text Garza challenges the readers memory of what came before in the text using the window, but also through the pervasive repeated “I remember(s)” that occur throughout the text. Each time a thing is remembered it is changed, slightly altered. Which begs the question, how is what we have read previously in the text altered through both the frame of our own remembrance of it and the continual recollections of the narrator?

A review of The Beckoning World by Douglas Bauer

Lou Gehrig, as wrought by Bauer’s pen, appears as he was in life — a pensive, quiet soul, dogged by insecurities and excessively devoted to his mother. Ruth, in the pages of The Beckoning World, is supremely confident, self-absorbed, voluptuary — a boy raised in an orphanage to be deified by a nation. As the Yankee sluggers barnstorm their way through the small-town west, Earl will experience an encounter that provides shape to his own life’s story.

A review of Lessons by Ian McEwan

The story begins in medias res, with Roland Baines, in his home in Clapham, waking from a nightmare about his boyhood piano lessons, and realizing that he is now a grown man taking care of his infant son, Lawrence.  Roland is “the baby’s bed and his god.”  Alissa, Roland’s wife,  has vanished, leaving a note telling him not to find her. “I have been living the wrong life. Please try to forgive me,” she wrote.

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