RaveToronto Star (CAN)...this mother kept secrets from her children and Fuller takes her time revealing them to us. Her pacing is deliberately unhurried as she slowly builds suspense ... Several times, just when we think we know how Unsettled Ground will unfold, Fuller pulls the rug out from under us, leaving us, too, floundering to find our footing ... Fuller’s prose is often graceful, lyrical ... Fuller has a remarkable way of juxtaposing beauty with ugliness, resilience with despair, and her portrayal of these troubled but appealing siblings is as sensitive as it is powerful.
PositiveToronto Star (CAN)There are some very serious subjects here: suicide ideation (a hotline number is included), loss, infertility, mental illness, grief, divorce and racism. But Cross-Smith has created a safe, warm space for these characters to discuss their deepest emotions. And boy, are there emotions. There’s as much crying inside as there is rain outside ... The story is a little too implausible, the characters too sentimental, the ending too rushed for me to agree that Cross-Smith is a \'consummate storyteller.\' But This Close to Okay is steeped in kindness, familial love and forgiveness, and especially during these times, we can never have too much of that.
RaveToronto Star (CAN)Ava Homa tells an extraordinary story ... She writes with such authenticity that her ambition, rage and struggle seem visible in Leila’s own ... the novel turns from a coming-of-age story into a page-turning thriller ... The power of Daughters of Smoke and Fire lies in its unpredictability and absence of good-evil stereotypes. The men are not all predators, nor the women all victims. All characters, including the Kurdish ones, are complex and flawed ... Leila’s fervour is occasionally melodramatic ... a gripping and enlightening read, and Ava Homa’s voice is one that needs to be heard.
PositiveThe Toronto Star[Thielen] can write, engagingly and vividly ... Food images abound, in all their sensory glory. You’ll drool over 'silken scarves of hot squash puree' or 'a plush little leek dumpling, its browned face shining with butter.' To test a roast beef’s doneness you slip inside its 'darkened side door' and 'put your thumb on its needs.' Serious cooks might lament the book’s lack of recipes, but Thielen also has a cookbook and a TV show.
PositiveThe Toronto StarI’ve heard this immigrant story before, but I never knew it could be told so nicely ... Mbue, who immigrated to the U.S. from Cameroon a decade ago, writes with authenticity and a subtle authority. Her white and black characters are equally empathetic, equally imperfect ... Although the tale isn’t earth-shatteringly original, the telling feels fresh, the characters charismatic. Behold the Dreamers is a quietly absorbing, compulsively readable.