PositiveThe Toronto StarGunter’s new book, The Menopause Manifesto, comes on the 200th anniversary of the introduction of the term by a French physician. It says a lot about how ill-informed we are and how desperately the book is needed that menopause is still treated like an embarrassing disease or a sitcom punchline rather than a natural transition in a person’s life ... The Menopause Manifesto covers wide territory, from the history of medical theories to other health issues people face as they age, such as cardiovascular disease and osteoporosis. Her aim is to pull menopause out of a medical silo ... While The Menopause Manifesto won’t fix the thermostat, it will perhaps give people the language and confidence to start more openly communicating their experiences.
RaveThe Toronto StarDespite its preoccupation with death, Beirut Hellfire Society crackles with the kinetic energy of a dancer, thanks to the stories of the fellow misfits Pavlov encounters ... The absurd volume of deaths is also tempered by Hage’s signature dark humour and stylistic playfulness ... is also propelled by the motion of death, which Pavlov observes over and over again in all its gruesome and touching moments.
RaveThe StarBunny...arrives in a charming package. Its cover endorsement from Lena Dunham and hot-pink type — a ubiquitous colour on this season’s book jackets — do not prepare for the psycho-horror inside. Bunny— the TV rights have already been picked up by AMC — defies easy description, but in the best possible way. It’s the kind of book you might stop reading to go back a few pages, either in disbelief or to savour Awad’s sharp wit. The best advice is to just submit to the gruesomeness, and strap in for the wild ride through the unhinged mind of Samantha Mackey.
PositiveToronto Star\"The Clockmaker’s Daughter, too, has all the signature twists of a gothic Morton tale: deeply buried secrets, fateful twists, and old homes that almost breathe and reverberate from the energy contained within. But for Morton’s new novel, an actual spirit supplies the otherworldly ambiance.\
PositiveThe Toronto StarTold from multiple perspectives, An Unwanted Guest opens as a group of guests arrives for a weekend getaway at Mitchell’s Inn ... after a scream shatters the guests peace, and a body...is found at the bottom of the inn’s staircase, relaxation and pampering are out of the question. Especially after a second body — that of a mysterious novelist who has sequestered herself to her room to write — is discovered.
PositiveThe Star...Harding’s new novel, Her Pretty Face, unfolds through multiple narratives and flashbacks. There’s Frances, a fierce mama who enrols her son, Marcus, in a private school after he is diagnosed with ADHD and oppositional defiance disorder. Her hopes for a fresh start are quashed after a disturbing schoolyard incident involving Marcus, and both mother and son find themselves ostracized by the school community; in particular, by the yummy-mommies whom Frances daydreams of harming in creative ways. Frances’s isolation is relieved when she meets new-to-town Kate, who is wealthy, model-beautiful and equally disdainful of the school’s elitism. The two bond quickly, as do their sons ... Her Pretty Face is a work of fiction that probes the complexities of women’s friendships, and not a retelling of a violent story.
PositiveThe Toronto StarBrave may not reflect these broader conversations, but it is a valuable and damning insider view of an industry that has violated women for way too long ... Although there are enough shocking details to satisfy the gossip-hungry, the book transcends the typical celebrity tell-all. It is a Hollywood takedown ... Brave is written with a crackling intensity that indirectly demands readers examine their own complicity and media consumption ... Although Brave is framed as a call to arms, when McGowan directly addresses readers with her manifesto the message feels superfluous. Brave’s real power is the shouting voice of a woman whose stories have been silenced for way too long.