Review: The Book of Secrets, by M.G. Vassanji

The Book of Secrets by M.G. Vassanji My rating: 3 of 5 stars Vassanji’s novel, The Book of Secrets, which was the recipient of the first Giller Prize, is a complex saga revolving around a diary kept by an Assistant District Commissioner in the fictitious town of Kikono, situated near the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, set around the time of WWI. The diary isn’t so much a book of secrets. Rather, it is the secrets…

Review: The Children of Ash and Elm, by Neil Price

The Children of Ash and Elm: A History of the Vikings by Neil Price My rating: 5 of 5 stars I received notification of this remarkable book through a group of archeologists specializing in Scandinavian history, specifically Viking. Their praise of Neil Price’s work did not disappoint. My interest in this history pertains to a current novel in progress of my own, and certainly I’ve come away with a head bursting with all the latest…

Review: The Green Road, by Anne Enright

The Green Road by Anne Enright My rating: 4 of 5 stars The Green Road, by Anne Enright, is an introspective, remarkable, often poignant story about the four siblings of the Madigan family, and their mercurial, often tempestuous, aging mother, Rosaleen. Set primarily in Enright’s native country of Ireland, the narratives of the four children sometimes wander from that green island to America and Mali, carrying with them the subterranean influences of their mother’s influence….

Review: A Brightness Long Ago, by Guy Gavriel Kay

A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay My rating: 3 of 5 stars It would be a stretch of the truth to say Guy Gavriel Kay is anything but an accomplished story-teller. He crafts his work with elegance, passion, and detail. You would think with that praise I would rate his work higher than I do, for certainly there is much here to engage the reader. However, having read almost all of Kay’s canon…

Review: In the Skin of a Lion, by Michael Ondaatje

In the Skin of a Lion by Michael Ondaatje My rating: 3 of 5 stars There is no disputing the literary skill of Michael Ondaatje. His works have been captivating readers for decades. However, it would be unreasonable for anyone to expect every work any artist creates to be extraordinary. And such is the case, in my opinion, with In the Skin of a Lion. It is an ambitious novel which encompasses the lives of…