Category: Literary Fiction Reviews

A review of Zen Master Tova Tarantino Toshiba – The Illustrious and Delusional Abbess of Satire by Gabriel Constans

What is interesting about this book is that it is presented in such a way as to appear serious and it is only in the fineprint that fiction is mentioned (and oh, I’ve just noticed the words “delusional” and “satire” in the title). If a newbie to zen philosophy picked it up, there’s enough sentences in this book to convince them it’s non-fiction; a book to be studied and unravelled.

A review of On Leave By Daniel Anselme

Anselme’s approach is to dig deep into the attitudes and motivations of three soldiers who are home on leave, let loose in Paris for a week or two.  He shows us the distance between civilians safely ensconced at home and combatants who are fighting an unpopular war – a situation we have since come to know only too well.  For sure, there is no sanctuary: these three guys may as well be ghosts, they’re on their own.  Adrift from lovers, friends and family.

We have a copy of RETURN TO OAKPINE by Ron Carlson to giveaway. To win, just sign up for our Free Newsletter.




The winner will be drawn on the first of December 2014 from subscribers who enter via the newsletter. Good luck!

A review of Vanishing Point by Jeri Kroll

Kroll_VanishingPointFront COVER copy At no point does the book lose its dramatic momentum. In fact, so compelling is the plot at times that it takes some effort to slow down and read the poems fully as poetry should be read, rather than racing on to see what happens. Vanishing Point is quick and easy to read, but the poems repay second and third readings where the complexity of the work begin to unfold. Diana’s self-awareness grows viscerally and sensually as she comes to accept the sensations of her adult body through the final section.

A review of No One is here Except All of Us by Ramona Ausubel

No One is here Except All of Us is an exquisite, circular tale that takes us back to where we started – where we all start – at birth, where we create the world afresh. It’s full of wonder even in the midst of the most dire tragedies. Beautifully written, full of pain and poetry, this is a book that opens histories most intense and painful moments and shows what survives: love and DNA.

A review of The Handkerchief Map by Kiri English-Hawke

Written by Kiri English-Hawke when she was a schoolgirl, this short, insightful narrative affirms that the current generation of young people are still affected and troubled by the Holocaust of WW2 when ordinary citizens’ lives were scarred by an horrific and hideous conflict that made no sense. It is a remarkable achievement as it offers a very positive picture on the resilience of the human spirit in the landscape of war.

A review of purple. emerald. gold. by Victoria Norton

Her roles as daughter, sister, wife and mother coupled with her nursing career have provided Victoria with a plethora of experiences and observations around which to weave her stories. Beatrice Fed the Ducks is a poignant story of aging and memory failure, which is sure to pierce even the hardest heart. White Shoes and A Weather Eye bring memories of fellow nurses who influenced Victoria’s attitudes to work and life, while Code of Denial draws on her knowledge of drugs and their dangers.

A review of Lost & Found by Brooke Davis

Millie’s plight alone should have had me in tears by page two, but Davis has drawn this character so skilfully that at no point did I pity her. Yes, I wanted to give her mother a slap for leaving her daughter in a shopping centre—but at the same time I understood why she did what she did. And that is the magic of this story: Everyone who has ever been torn asunder by loss will relate to these broken people.