We All Love the Beautiful Girls, by Joanne Proulx, is a very different story from what I normally read and what I am attracted to. However, the synopsis intrigued me and, given the fact that she is a Canadian author, I added it to the top of my TBR pile. I am so glad I did. From Proulx’s strong prose to the different narrative voices that are portrayed, I found myself hanging on to every word.
The novel opens and builds slowly with the introduction of several different characters that all have a point of view within the story. Mia (the family matriarch) Michael (her husband who has just been cheated by his business partner) and Finn (their teenaged son, who is in love with a girl he cannot have). After an evening with a terrible accident and some personal revelations, they find their relationships tested and their boundaries pushed as each character deals with the loss in a different way.
One of the main things that drew me into the story, pretty much immediately, was how real, dark and raw Proulx’s story telling is. There is no sugar coating or dramatic flourish within these pages. There is heartache, there is loss and there is the undeniable feeling that this could potentially happen to anyone. As their family unit unravels, I felt emotionally compelled to continue reading. I have read other reviews that state this story is too slow, I, however, felt the complete opposite. I felt like I settled into this story easily and was completely entranced throughout. I couldn’t put it down.
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Earlier this month, I read Be Ready for the Lightning by Canadian author, Grace O’Connell. I was completely blown away by this novel (if you missed it, my review is here). Today, I have Grace O’Connell on Clues and Reviews answering my questions about the book, the writing process and some serious Canadian business….
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If I had to use one word to describe Be Ready for the Lightning by Grace O’Connell, I would say vivid; from the descriptions of the scenery to the characters, everything in this book was so intricately developed and detailed. I could smell the smells and hear the sounds. I felt like I knew these people, they were my friends and my confidants. Throughout my reading, I felt a visceral attachment to them, which made this one feel suspenseful and explosive. O’Connell is a master of imagery and I was captivated by her prose.
The novel opens like every other day. Veda has just moved from Vancouver to New York, running from her complicated relationship with her brother, and is starting her day like every other day: by almost missing her bus. As she gets on just in time and begins to the monotony of her bus ride, a man a hijacks the bus and shoots the driver. Veda finds herself in an unpredictable hostage situation.
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I was not quite sure what to expect when I started Burntown by Jennifer McMahon; I had heard notable praise for McMahon’s work but had never read any of her novels before. After reading, I have come to realize that if her other work holds any resemblance to Burntown, then I have been making a serious mistake! This book was captivating, original and had me gripped.
I am not entirely sure how to proceed with my review as this novel blended and bent any resemblance of genre. It had elements of the paranormal and a classic thriller; it also had coming of age elements and reminded me a little bit of post-apocalyptic dystopian novels. Fantasy mixed with a feel of science fiction; truly, this novel ended up with a little bit for every reader.
Continue reading “Book Review: Burntown (Jennifer McMahon) @RandomHouseCA”
So Much Love, the debut novel, by Rebecca Rosenblum follows a small town when a young woman (Catherine) vanishes. As life goes on and people begin to adjust to their lives without her, her outer circle of acquaintances and people closest to her experience devastating loss and incredible resiliency.
This novel was completely unlike anything I have every read; I would categorize this one as a contemporary thriller. Intense subject matter collides with strong prose and character relationships to create an intimate look into one woman’s captivity and all of those left behind. This is not your fast paced, run of the mill style thriller; instead, Rosenblum creates a slow burn that will have you sucked in.
Continue reading “Book Review: So Much Love (Rebecca Rosenblum) @RebeccaRosenblu @RandomHouseCA”