Arleen Pare

Begin with the End in Mind By Emma Healey Arbeiter Ring Publishing 57 pages,  $12.95   Pluck By Laisha Rosnau, Nightwood Editions 91 pages, $18.95 Reviewed by Arleen Paré I find small books of poetry with bluish covers very pleasing. Both Begin with the End in Mind and Pluck are small books with bluish covers. Begin […]


 High Clear Bell of Morning By Ann Eriksson Douglas and McIntyre 256 pages, $22.95 Reviewed by Arleen Pare Few books make me cry. So I was genuinely surprised when I found myself crying when I finished reading High Clear Bell of Morning.  To be honest, I cried half way through too — well, I had […]


The Book of Places  By Yvonne Blomer Black Moss Press 2012, 95 pages. Reviewed by Arleen Pare             Book of Places is a neat little square of a book that would fit into most back pockets, most backpacks, most travel bags going most places in the world.  It’s a fit travel companion too, covering not […]

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The Douglas Notebooks By Christine Eddie, translated by Sheila Fischman Goose Lane Press, 178 pages,  $19.95 Reviewed by Arleen Paré Charming is the word. The Douglas Notebooks is a charming story captured in a small, charming book. Fable-like and bitter-sweet, the narrative ends on page 160; the last eighteen pages constitute a useful set of […]

Given By Susan Musgrave Thistledown Press, pp. 298. Reviewed by Arleen Paré Given is the second novel in a trilogy by Susan Musgrave. Musgrave is a poet, a novelist, a writer of children’s books and of non-fiction with over twenty-six books to her name. Cargo of Orchids (2001) was the first in this trilogy. However, […]

A novel to break your heart

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January 18, 2013

The Round House By Louise Erdrich Published by Harper Collins, 317 pages $27.99 Reviewed by Arleen Pare Louise Erdrich is a fine American writer. With over twenty-five books to her name, she is also prolific. Nor is she limited to one genre, besides her fourteen novels, three works of non-fiction, one collection of stories, six […]

Journey With No Maps: A Life of P.K. Page By Sandra Djwa, McGill-Queens University Press 322 pages (398 including notes). Reviewed by Arleen Pare I admire biographers. Biography is a daring, sometimes dangerous genre, requiring time-consuming, research and a finely-tuned sense of diplomacy vis a vis informants, including the subject — in this case Victoria’s […]

Hidden Lives: Coming Out on Mental Illness, Edited by Leonore Rowntree and Andrew Boden Published by Brindle and Glass, 264 pages, $24.95 Reviewed by Arleen Pare The well-known Dr. Gabor Maté writes the book’s foreword. He also writes a back cover blurb which describes Hidden Lives as “(a) privileged if uncomfortable close look at one […]

Gay Dwarves of America By Anne Fleming Pedlar Press 205 pp; $21 Reviewed by Arleen Paré In the world of literary genres, the short story could be entering endangered-species status. Not because fewer people write short stories; quite the contrary, many writers enjoy the short story form, and literary journals still publish them. But because […]

The Sentimentalists

March 9, 2011

Gasperau Press, 2009, 216 pages hardcover, $27.95 / Douglas and McIntyre, 2010, 216 pages paperback, $19.95 Reviewed by Arleen Paré In 2010, Johanna Skidsrud won the Scotia Bank Giller Prize for her novel, The Sentimentalists. This alone guaranteed increased sales for the book, originally published by Gasperau, a small Nova Scotia press, but the resulting […]