Ellen in Pieces By Caroline Adderson (198)

thoroughly enjoying my sojourn into authors from Vancouver. They are truly talented, and they have a unique of writing that really captures my imagination and resonates with me.

So, after reading a lot of Molly Peacock’s books, I now decided to delve into another wonderful author from Vancouver. She is also gifted in telling a story, one that really resonates with any middle-aged woman, or even the younger reader.

This is a witty, compelling, and genre-bending novel about a single mother who navigates love, lusts, and losses of middle age to arrive at a final, bittersweet contentment.

Ellen McGinty is a woman that we can all relate to. She is sexy, impulsive, loud-mouthed, and chock full of regrets.

In middle age, she sells the house she raised her daughters in, slips off the shell of her old life, and steps out for a first, tentative foray into real fulfillment. She meets a man who is twenty years younger than her. If that sounds intriguing, especially if you are over 40, it is!

The story then explodes into multiple points of view. The story is told through the eyes of her lover, Matt, her ex-husband, Larry, her two daughters, her grandson, and her friends. The reader will watch Ellen negotiate her life as the pieces of who she is really come together.

This book explores love in its many varied forms, the nature of regret and that greatest human test, mortality.

This story is exquisitely written. It is also absorbing and intelligent. This story is an emotional mirror for all of our lives. I loved the story and am planning to buy this book for my collection of many hundreds of books at home.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth

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100 Easy-to-Grow Native Plants For Canadian Gardens By Lorraine Johnson (200)

This is a wonderful colourful book of all kinds of plants that can be grown in Canada in different climates. I love spring because so many new books are published on how to create just the perfect garden, given our unique circumstances and environment.

And this book is not just any book on planting and growing. This is a wonderful new edition of a book about growing native plants in Canada.

Rating: 5 stars

Irene S. Roth

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Alphabetique: 26 Characteristic Fictions By Molly Peacock (197)

In this wonderful and unique book, Molly Peacock has written a new classic one of a kind collection of tales inspired by the lives of the letters of the alphabet. The book is as different as it is unique. I just loved it!

From A, who climbs an Alp with her husband, but finds it is an apparition from her own past that points them toward their future to D, who always felt he was double and after a lifetime of denial finds a way to live his truth, the reader will be taken on a treasure-throve of wonder and awe. The artwork also speaks volumes to the creativity of the author.

L stands for the glamorous star of yesteryear who is preparing to slip into the shadows until a most intriguing visitor materializes to change her mind. P stands for a poet from a faraway land, watching his sleeping lover and listening for the hoof-beats of warriors.

Q stands for an orphan who one day, somehow, finds himself standing before the Queen.

The stories are unique and they fit perfectly with Molly Peacock’s extraordinary body of work, drawing on the same wellsprings of creativity and artistry as her poetry.

I will be purchasing this book from ABE soon and when I want to be delighted some Sunday afternoon, I will take the book out and read it on my lazy boy chair while the sun streams in my living room window.

Rating: 5 Stars

Irene S. Roth

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Flight and Freedom: Stories of Escape to Canada By Ratna Omidvar and Dana Wagner (196)

This book has been in the making for many years. It is a narrative of flight with the other people in this book. Canada is a country of immigrants and refugees. It is becoming a multi-cultural country, one that is as deep as it is complex.

Many Canadians don’t understand some of the backgrounds that the refugees came from before they arrived to Canada in the hope of a better life for themselves and their families.

This book follows the story of 30 refugees. It encapsulates their story and their unique backgrounds. It is a testament of how great a country Canada is and how all-inclusive and inviting we really are.

Canada is a kind, fair, compassionate and generous place for people who are from outside of our country. We open our homes and pocket books for refugees because we want them to have a chance at a better life.

This book will make you be very proud to be a Canadian. It is a book that is a testament to the generosity and wonderfulness of this vast and beautiful land which turns 150 years old this year!

Rating: 5 stars

Irene S. Roth

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The Paper Garden: By Molly Peacock (195)

This is a beautifully written book. The art work in the book is mesmerizing and bold. I just loved them! Each of them could be framed.

This is a story about Mary Granville Pendarves Delany (1700 to 1788). She was the witty, beautiful and talented daughter of a minor branch of a powerful family. She was married off at seventeen to a sixty-one-year-old drunken squire to improve the family fortunes. He was widowed by twenty-five. She spurned many suitors over the next twenty years, including the charismatic Lord Baltimore, and she would also refuse to retire to a quiet, pensioned existence.

Instead, she cultivated a wide circle of friends, including Handel and Jonathan Swift. And she painted, stitched, and observed as she swirled in the outskirts of the Georgian court. In Mid-life she finally found love, and married again.

Upon her second husband’s death twenty-three years later, she arose from her grief, picked up a pair of scissors and at the age of seventy-two crated a new art form, mixed media collage.

Over the next decade, Mrs. Delany created an astonishing 985 botanically correct, breathtaking cut paper flowers, now housed in the British Museum and referred to as the Flora Delanica.

Delicately, Molly Peacock has woven parallels in her own life around the story of Mrs. Delany’s and in doing so has made this biography into a profound and beautiful examination of the nature of creativity and art.

Gorgeously designed and featuring thirty full colour illustrations, this is a wonderfully lively book full of fashion and friendships, gossip and politics, letters and love.

I loved this book from beginning to end. It is a book that I will read and reread and never put too far away from my gaze.

Rating: 5 stars

Irene S. Roth

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Persuasion: A New Approach to Changing Minds By Arlene Dickinson (194)

This is an important book for all of us about how to persuade others to understand us. No one teaches us how to persuade others. Persuasion is nowhere on the high school curriculum either. Yet, it is one of these important tools that we need in order to survive in the world.

The author knows all too well how it is not to know how to persuade others. At thirty-one, Arlene Dickinson was going nowhere fast. She was recently divorced, had only a high school diploma, no savings, and no clue how she was going to feed her children.

But one year later, she was a partner in Venture Communications. Ten years later, she was CEO, poised to grow the business into one of Canada’s largest independently owned marketing firms.

Today, as a co-star of the CBC hit Dragons’ Den, she is one of the country’s most sought after female entrepreneurs. What is the secret of her journey from poverty to the corner office? It is the art of persuasion, and she must really have a corner on how to persuade others!

Persuasion has become a dirty word – all snake oil and high pressure tactics. But this need not be the case. Dickinson argues that true persuasion is about connecting, not conning. It’s about culminating authenticity, honesty, and reciprocity in every relationship so you not only get what you want, but achieve an outcome that works for everyone.

This book should be read by every individual in order to ensure that we get everything that we should without short-changing ourselves.

I loved the book from beginning to end!

Rating: 5 stars

Irene S. Roth

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Royal Tour by Amy Alward (193)

This story is so romantic and delightful! I am SO happy that I came upon this author in all my searches at my local library. It is a relatively new book, one that I will purchase because of how good it makes me feel to read the story.

Since winning the Hunt and saving her new BFF, Princess Evelyn, Sam Kemi has been royally busy. What with TV interviews, working in her family’s potion store, and preparing to join Evelyn on her world tour, Sam still hasn’t had time for a real date with Zain, her new boyfriend-slash-former-rival.

And that’s not happening anytime soon either. Someone has tampered with Sam’s granddad’s mind, and she is the only one who can unlock his memories. But those memories hold the key to the most powerful potion in the world which people would kill for.

So, Sam must swap dresses, princes, and palaces for dragons, centaurs, and caves in her quest to save her granddad (and everyone else too).

It is just your standard episode in the life of a potion-making teenager.

Rating: 5 stars

Irene S. Roth

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