Apr/May 2024

e c l e c t i c a   r e v i e w s  & 
i n t e r v i e w s

Reviews & Interviews

(These are excerpts—click on the title to view the whole piece!)

Ann Skea reviews...

The Queen's Apprenticeship
by Tracy Ryan

Tracy Ryan brings these women and their lives vividly to life. She sticks closely to historical facts; uses fragments from Louise's journals to set the historical context (it is not clear if these are her own translations or are imagined); and quotes from Marguerite's own writings and those of Marguerite's favorite poet, Clément Marot, who, for a time, was attached to her suite at the court of the king. As the first in a proposed series of three novels about the Queen of Navarre, this is an intriguing and promising start.

by Ayesha Inoon

For many Asians arriving in Australia, even big cities like Sydney and Melbourne seem very quiet compared to what they are used to, especially at night, and especially in the suburbs where the streets are often deserted after 9:00 PM. Canberra, so spacious and carefully planned, hardly seems like a city at all.

The Fire and the Rose
by Robyn Cadwallader

Lincoln, as an important wool-trading city, had allowed Jews to settle there, but it was a city where they were especially hated. All Jews were obliged to wear a yellow badge; the Catholic church taught that they had killed Christ. Those who needed to borrow money and had run up debts resented them. Their language and their worship set them apart, and the story of Little Saint Hugh (one of Lincoln's most loved saints, whose tomb attracted pilgrims to the Cathedral) told of his kidnapping by Jews and his ritual sacrifice.

Pink Slime
by Fernanda Trias, translated by Heather Cleary

She is a good writer and a gentle but determined woman, and her care for others, her memories, her lucid dreams, and her descriptions of the beauty amongst the devastation, lightens the darkness of her story...

Linda Saldaña reviews...

Going Where They Belong
by Judith Day

"I am marveling at how stories develop themselves," says Day, reflecting on this collection. "The writing is coming through you like a river." A river does thread through these tales, several of which are located in the river city of St. Louis, where Day grew up, as well as near Northern California's Russian River, a short distance from her current home. And like a river, these luminous stories—and the people in them—are seeking a level, flowing quite beautifully to where they belong.