3 book reviews for your reading pleasure!
Capital Recollections: A Baby Boomer Growing up in Ottawa
By: Bruce Macgregor, Published by: Burnstown Publishing House
99 pages — ISBN: 978-1-77257-240-7
Local author Bruce Macgregor transports readers back to what it was like for a baby boomer growing up in Ottawa. With humour and affection, he revisits the birth of television, rock and roll music and the many Ottawa media personalities that captured viewers attention. From music to sports and pop culture, Macgregor shows us the astonishing amount of growth and change that has taken place in the city and across Canada.
For the Ottawa boomers he writes of: Cradle league hockey; Elvis rocking the Auditorium; Squirrels v. Yohawks; the Ottawa Exhibition; Saturday Date on CJOH television; the Pigskin Parade at Lansdowne Park, and much more. All events that will transport you back to your youth in the city.
And for the boomers everywhere; dating rituals, cars, clothing, fabs, movies and other elements of life that came with growing up during this time. No matter where you grew up in Canada, you’ll be reminded of adventures with friends and causing trouble at school.
Even younger readers will be amazed at how things have changed since their grandparents were kids. From only one TV channel, drive in movie theaters and grade 13, this is an entertaining story for any age. So come along with Macgregor for a trip through time to rediscover local history, 50s and 60s trivia and personal anecdotes that will have you laughing out loud.
And Hell Followed With Him
By: J.M. Bedard, Published by: Shadow House Press
588 pages — ISBN: 9781709482809
Author J.M. Bedard’s first novel And Hell Followed Him is the story of Dave Mathises who returns to his family home for the first time since he left as a teenager. With winter approaching fast on the Canada/US border; things are looking just as bleak for the people living there as the landscape. The Mathises family once reigned over all criminal aspects of the area, but with the family in disarray they have begun to lose their grip. With Palmer, the patriarch only becoming more bloodthirsty as he ages and his influence rubbing off on Dave's brother Jed, it seems that the more the family grapples for the control the more they start to crumble, slowly drawing everyone in the town into the mess. From a teenager, to morally corrupt cops and Dave himself, loyalties are questioned and grudges are left to fester, all with Dave stuck in the middle. Family binds together, then wrenches apart and Dave, not quite a local nor a stranger, cannot fully cleave himself from it. But he will try and the results will leave no one untouched.
A story about the bonds of family and small town Canada, this is the perfect book to curl up with as the temperature plummets this stormy season.
Secret Lives of Mothers and Daughters
By: Anita Kushwaha, Published by: HarperCollins Canada
368 pages — ISBN: 978-1-4434-5633-3
Anita Kushwaha’s breathtaking sophomore novel is about the ties that bind mothers and daughters together and the secrets that tear them apart.
Veena, Mala and Nandini are three very different women with something in common. Out of love, each bears a secret that will haunt her life, and that of her daughter, because the risk of telling the truth is too great. But secrets have consequences. Particularly for Asha, a young woman on the cusp of adulthood, who links them together. After her eighteenth birthday, Asha is devastated to learn that she was adopted as a baby. What’s more, her birth mother died of a mysterious illness, leaving Asha with only a letter. Nandini, Asha’s adoptive mother, has always feared the truth would come between them.
Veena, a recent widow, worries about her daughter Mala’s future. The shock of her husband’s sudden death leaves her shaken and convinces her that the only way to keep her daughter safe is to secure her future. Mala struggles to balance her dreams and ambitions with her mother’s expectations. She must bear a secret, the burden of which threatens her very life.
Three mothers, each bound by love, deceit and a young woman who connects them all. Secret Lives of Mothers & Daughters is an intergenerational novel about family, duty and the choices we make in the name of love.