Culture & Conversation

Posts by Elise Moser


Clinging to the Rock

In Michael Crummey’s novel Sweetland, the crusty hero clings to the old Rock with an irrational tenacity. Sweetland is populated with vivid, distinctly drawn characters: Queenie Coffin, a chain-smoking agoraphobic who sits by the window of her house reading romance novels, the wild Priddle brothers, Irish twins who make piles of money in Fort Mac and then come home to drink it all away and the aptly named Loveless and his unfortunate cow.

US Virgin Islands in 1918

Magical, historical Virgin isles

Magic, myth and history are interwoven in a tapestry of predominantly female voices, in the story the story of a US Virgin Islands sea captain, his tantalizing daughter, his pregnant social climbing wife, and his equally pregnant oseah mistress.


A collection of chance events

BOOKS: THE WIND IS NOT A RIVER by BRIAN PAYTON (HARPER COLLINS). When John disappears, Helen hatches an improbable plan of her own. She talks her way into a USO troupe and sings and dances her way to Alaska.

Lion heart

The Lion Seeker is a great big story, bursting with messy, vivid life, thick with the blood and dust of history. Isaac Helger’s family emigrates from…


Ambitious past

FICTION: THE ORENDA, BY JOSEPH BOYDEN (PENGUIN CANADA). An ambitious novel of a turning point in the history of the North American continent, The Orenda takes rare multiple perspectives of individuals from several Aboriginal nations, as well as a European newcomer.

A love of the sea

Lorne Elliott’s Beach Reading displays the wit the author became known for on his CBC radio comedy show, “Madly Off in All Directions.” It is gentle and sweet without being sappy, and demonstrates a lively affection for the natural charms of Prince Edward Island.