Reviewed

  • Downhome Magazine
  • Posted: Oct 24, 2008 5:18 PM
Blasted
Kate Story
Killick Press
$21.95
A family tragedy brings the young, rebellious Ruby back to her Newfoundland roots and the home she grew up in beneath the Southside Hills of St. John's. Her journey home also brings her face-to-face with the strange truth behind her family's age-old secrets. Since generations before her, Ruby's family has been unwittingly skirting the fine line between the natural world and the world of the fairies. Ruby is haunted by childhood memories of her father disappearing from home without explanation, her raging grandfather (who is still taken with violent rampages from time to time) and her great-grandmother, who has always been spoken of in hushed, embarrassed tones. Upon her return home, Ruby tries to deny that the time has come for her to deal with the family curse - but she must.

Kate Story's first novel is an unexpected, yet awesome creation. Drawing the folklore of old Newfoundland into a modern-day setting makes for an exciting plot where Ruby's world of casual relationships, booze and parties mixes with the ever-presence of her relatives, her Newfoundland culture and the mischievous fairies who will not leave her family alone. How will Ruby contend with the unnatural forces that have marred her family for generations? This all-important question will keep the pages of Blasted turning until the very end.
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What They Wanted
Donna Morrissey
Viking Canada
$32.00
DonnaImage Morrissey's long-awaited fourth novel reintroduces us to the unforgettable Now family, borne of her third novel, Sylvanus Now. In What They Wanted, times have changed for the Nows: Sylvanus and Adelaide's children are grown, the fish are all but gone from the ocean, and Sylvanus is an aging man, struggling to survive after a heart attack.

Narrated by the Now's eldest child, the university-educated Sylvie, readers can see how the tragedies of her parents' past have trickled down to affect the next generation. Sylvie is estranged from her mother and the divide between them only widens as Sylvie urges her younger brother, Chris, to spread his wings and leave his outport home to find his own way in life - as she feels she has.

The action of the story is set both in Newfoundland and amidst the dirt and danger of an Alberta oil rig, where Sylvie and Chris, like so many Newfoundlanders, go to earn a living. The deeply rooted tension within the Now family finally comes to a head, however, when tragedy strikes them yet again.
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Bramble and the Rose
The Masterless Men
The Masterless Men and Spencer Crewe
$21.95
It'sImage been six years since the last major release from The Masterless Men, and for those who love Irish tunes, Bramble and the Rose has certainly been worth the wait. The Masterless Men - namely John Curran, Chuck Lewis, Perrry Dawe, Dave Lush, Bob Wiseman and Greg Walsh - have a way of making a song their own, even if it's been sung for decades. Their latest CD is a great mix of everything this group does best: from traditional songs and haunting ballads to instrumental pieces, any lover of Irish-Newfoundland music will be thrilled with this latest release.
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