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Thirteenth Issue
Volume 7, No. 1


O Mordecai, Where Art Thou?
By Juan Rodriguez


Quebecite: A Jazz Fantasia In Three Cantos
Reviewed by Kelly Murphy

A House By The Sea
Reviewed by Ian McGillis

The Speaking Cure
Reviewed by Mark Heffernan

The Applecross Spell
Reviewed by Eleni Zisimatos Auerbach

Universal Recipients
Reviewed by Eleni Zisimatos Auerbach

Black Bird
Reviewed by X.I. Selene

A Sunday At The Pool In Kigali
Reviewed by Edward R. Smith

Song For My Father
Reviewed by Mary Soderstrom

The Heart Is An Involuntary Muscle
Reviewed by Kim Bourgeois

Another Book About Another Broken Heart
Reviewed by Poppy Wilkinson

Without Cease The Earth Faintly Trembles
Reviewed by Jessica Ticktin

fiction at a glance

After All!
Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

Moosehead Anthology #9: Career Suicide! Contemporary Literary Humour
Reviewed by Ian McGillis


Respectable Burial: Montreal's Mount Royal Cemetery
Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

Shoshanna's Story: A Mother, A Daughter, And The Shadows Of History
Reviewed by Elizabeth Johnston

Louis Riel
Reviewed by Philip Hawes

Tables For One: A Spanish Journal
Reviewed by Sarah Rosenfeld

Practice Imperfect
Reviewed by Joan Eyolfson Cadham

Ha! A Self-murder Mystery
Reviewed by Anne Cimon

Spoken Here: Travels Among Threatened Languages
Reviewed by Jill Rollins

non-fiction at a glance

Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

A Love Of Reading: The Second Collection
Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

Entering The War Zone: A Mohawk Perspective On Resisting Invasions
Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

Drive I-95: Exit By Exit Info, Maps, History And Trivia
Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

Crooked Smile
Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

Four Hundred Brothers And Sisters
Reviewed by Margaret Goldik

After Notman: Montreal Views - A Century Apart
Reviewed by Ian McGillis


Snow Formations
Reviewed by Bert Almon

In The Worshipful Company Of Skinners
Reviewed by Bert Almon

Bamboo Church
Reviewed by Bert Almon

An Abc Of Belly Work
Reviewed by Bert Almon

young readers

Emma's Story
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

The Mole Sisters And The Fairy Ring
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

The Mole Sisters And The Way Home
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Learning With Animals
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Sink Or Swim
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Suki's Kimono
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Peter's Pixie
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

A Friend For Sam
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Sam's First Halloween
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Tales Of Court And Castle
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Think For Yourself: A Kid's Guide To Solving Life's Dilemmas And Other Sticky Problems
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

Nellie Mcclung: Voice For The Voiceless
Reviewed by Carol-Ann Hoyte

The Applecross Spell
By Wendy Macintyre
paper 192 pp.
XYZ Publishing 1-894852-03-6

Earth mother knows best

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New Document Wendy MacIntyre, in The Applecross Spell, has written a provocative novel with a strong feminist and political focus. She uses magic imagery to highlight the female as a powerful pagan enchantress. Through difficult trial and painful revelation, protagonist Suzanne Clelland achieves an empowered state of self-actualization by finally realizing her potential as her mother's daughter. The mother-daughter bond is central to the novel; the mother's knowledge and power as wise-woman are passed on to the daughter, thereby demonstrating that "Nothing is ever destroyed (but)…transformed." At the root of the novel is the theme of personal liberation that accompanies revelatory experience - the creation of the true "fire out of which all things are born."

Males, however, are depicted unfavourably. The husband Murdo (murder?), for instance, represents oppressive male power and authority. MacIntyre does concede, however, that redemptive transformation is possible for particular (male) individuals. She complements her feminist focus (she also criticizes the current state of feminism as being commodified and splintered into rival factions) with commentary on racism, homosexuality, poverty, marriage, and family dynamics, the latter deriving from the writings of R.D. Laing. Family, for MacIntyre, bears the "instability of tectonic plates."

As a medievalist, I appreciated the historical backdrop - the references to magic, herbology, and the emphasis on the sense (primarily touch, smell, visions, and psychic sense), which refer to a medieval sensibility. MacIntyre's effortless writing style captures the reader with phrases like "Gulls swooped like manic angels" or "the innocent scent of the earth." The Applecross Spell is a politically progressive, intelligent and emotive book that leaves one wishing that the ideal of personal emancipation were indeed possible.

Eleni Zisimatos Auerbach was a finalist for the 2002 National Magazine Awards in poetry. Her work is forthcoming in Musings, a new anthology of Greek Canadian writing (Vehicule 2004)