A triple treat of lit­er­a­ture

Pat St. Ger­main shares some ti­tles to en­joy.

Vancouver Sun - - BOOKS -

How a Woman Be­comes a Lake Mar­jorie Celona Pen­guin Ran­dom House

An ab­sorb­ing read from the get-go, Mar­jorie Celona’s sec­ond novel suc­ceeds on mul­ti­ple lev­els — as char­ac­ter-driven ex­plo­ration of fear and love and loss, as do­mes­tic thriller and as page-turner mys­tery. Set in the small, sea­side Ore­gon ham­let of Whale Bay, the story opens on New Year’s Day 1986, when a young film­maker named Vera van­ishes dur­ing an out­ing with her dog at a re­mote park soon af­ter call­ing po­lice to say she’s found a young boy in the for­est. The story is told from sev­eral per­spec­tives, in­clud­ing that of Lewis, a rookie de­tec­tive who ar­rives on the scene; Jesse and Dmitri, two young boys whose di­vorced rage-aholic dad took them to the park on the morn­ing Vera dis­ap­peared; her de­pressed, al­co­holic hus­band, Denny; and Vera her­self.

I Can’t Get You Out of My Mind Mar­i­anne Apos­tolides Book*hug Press

Ob­sessed with a mar­ried ex-lover who has re­turned to his wife, writer and di­vorced mother of two Ari­adne is also con­sumed with a book pro­ject fo­cused on the mean­ing of love — specif­i­cally on the mean­ing of the phrase “I love you.” Lack­ing a sta­ble in­come, she buys time to work on the book by sign­ing up for a paid study on ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, which re­quires her to share her home with a dis­em­bod­ied AI pres­ence named Dirk. It seems like a fair trade, but as the study pro­gresses, with in­creas­ingly deep dives into Ari­adne’s men­tal and phys­i­cal states, she gives up more and more of her­self.

How to Pro­nounce Knife Sou­vankham Tham­mavongsa Mc­clel­land & Ste­wart

Poignant, amus­ing, il­lu­mi­nat­ing and en­gag­ing, the short-story col­lec­tion How to Pro­nounce Knife fo­cuses on a mixed bag of char­ac­ters who are firstor sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion Lao im­mi­grants or refugees. They in­clude a young girl with an un­shak­able be­lief in her fa­ther; a failed boxer who dis­cov­ers a hid­den tal­ent when his sis­ter hires him to work at her nail sa­lon; and ex­ploited fe­male em­ploy­ees at a poul­try plant. Sou­vankham Tham­mavongsa was born in a Lao refugee camp in Thai­land in 1978, and raised in Toronto.

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