Category: Literary Fiction Reviews

A review of Personal Effects by Carmel Macdonald Grahame

Personal Effects is the story of a couple on the move –repeatedly changing country in search of work, exiled and migratory, homeless yet rooted through their sense of family; of consistency in their relationship. Beyond that the story explores what we lose and what we gain, throughout any ordinary life. It explores the shifting and cyclical perceptions of time passing, and it examines, in a deep, poetic way, the way we make meaning out of our lives.

A review of Steal the North by Heather Brittain Bergstrom

Heather Brittain Bergstrom’s novel is outstanding for its evocation of place. In a promotional interview, she notes that she was born and raised in Moses Lake, Washington, between two large Indian reservations, the Colville and the Yakama. Now living in northern California, she sometimes longs for the Pacific Northwest’s rugged, open landscapes, cowboys, Indians, wind, sage, large rivers, dams, and miles of “nothingness.”

We have a copy of the newly released 25th anniversary edition of The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan to giveaway. To win, just sign up for our Free Newsletter.




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We have a copy of The House at the End of Hope Street by Menna Van Praag to giveaway. To win, just sign up for our Free Newsletter.




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We have a copy of I Always Loved You by Robin Oliveira to giveaway. To win, just sign up for our Free Newsletter.




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

A review of Dying by Arthur Schnitzler

Schnitzler’s prose in Anthea Bell’s luminous translation can best be described as spare and poetic. Every detail seems not only important but necessary. There is a precision of scene and expression. Not a single word is wasted.

We have a copy of Mastermind: How to Think Like Sherlock Holmes by Maria Konnikova to giveaway. To win, just sign up for our Free Newsletter.




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

A review of The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan

Though The Narrow Road to the Deep North is very much a novel of war, and the impact of the war experience, it is also a love story. It is perhaps the love story itself – and the many manifestations of love, as it appears in the book, that affects the transformation.  Love too is a permanent force, leaving its imprint, and changing us.

A review of Review of Seven from Haven by Daniel Grotta

The cover illustration of Daniel Grotta’s Seven from Haven shows two appealing cats, one white, one black, posed with a tombstone. This picture captures the tone of Grotta’s seven short stories in this collection – gentle discomfiting tales of the unexplained, set in or near the Pennsylvania mountain village of Haven. The stories are intriguing, eerie and disturbing, and also have as themes big issues like civil rights, war, technology, and the bonds that link human beings.

A review of Eyrie by Tim Winton

All of the characters in this book are needy in one way or another, even those, like Keely’s mum Doris, who appear to be self-contained. These needs, some of which are complex and subtle, form a subtext that operates as a perfect contrast to the thriller-like action that escalates as the story progresses. The result is a beautiful, deep and engaging story that illuminates human frailty, teases out the nature of risk and compassion, and goes very deep into the heart of love, loss, and personal responsibility.