Choice and Consequence in Lucy Hardin’s Missing Period


Reviewed in this essay: Lucy Hardin’s Missing Period by Stephen Marche. The Walrus Online Exclusive, November 2010. In Lucy Hardin’s Missing Period, Stephen Marche’s digital novel currently available on The Walrus website, the question of personal choice is explored in the form of an unwanted pregnancy experienced by the titular character. Lucy wants to change her future, but she doesn’t...

The Fifty Shades Phenomenon is Nothing New


Over two and a half centuries before British TV executive and mother of two, E.L. James, shocked the literary world with the massive success her Fifty Shades trilogy, a fifty-one year old English widower named Samuel Richardson wrote an epistolary novel called Pamela: Or, Virtue Rewarded. Not only did Richardson’s novel become the biggest literary phenomenon of its day, it is also often credited...

Kaleidoscope: A Q & A with Gail Bowen


In Kaleidoscope, the thirteenth book in Gail Bowen’s Joanne Kilbourn mystery series, released last month, Joanne retires. Happily settled with her husband Zack Shreve and their 14 year-old-daughter Taylor, and at last liberated to take daytime naps, her prospects for a cozy retirement are good. But the trials of her neighbours, blistering unhappily in situations caused by wealth inequality...

CanLit Canon Review #5: Mazo de la Roche’s Jalna


In an attempt to make himself a better Canadian, Craig MacBride is reading and reviewing the books that shaped this country. No one talks about Mazo de la Roche anymore, but her 16-part series, which chronicled the doings of the Whiteoak family, was popular in its time. So popular, in fact, that a neighbourhood and school in Mississauga are named after the fictional family, a Newmarket school is...

Tracing the Heat of Others in Nancy Huston’s Infrared


Reviewed in this essay: Infrared, by Nancy Huston. McArthur and Company, 2011. Paris is burning and Rena Greenblat has averted her eyes, and more importantly, her camera. While social unrest heats up the city that she lives and loves in, she refuses to return to Paris to do what she does best—hold up a photographic mirror to show the participants where their hot spots are located. Rena is on a...

Tread Carefully: A Review of Laura Boudreau’s Suitable Precautions


reReviewed in this essay: Suitable Precautions, by Laura Boudreau. Biblioasis, 2011. Laura Boudreau’s debut book release, Suitable Precautions, is a masterfully curated collection of short stories. Her style is unpredictable yet always elegantly delivered. She seems to delight in walking the line between the playful and sinister. “The Party” flits deftly between sociability and faux pas, as...