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review 2020-05-12 16:44
Refugees in Britain
The Other Side of Truth - Beverley Naidoo

I will attempt to write a spoiler free summary of this book before I tell you why I loved it. After a politically motivated, family tragedy in Nigeria those who survive are forced to flee for their lives. Two young children, Sade and Femi, are sent to England with a stranger under false identities. When things become more complicated in England than expected the two children, aged ten and twelve, are abandoned in the capital city. A lot of things happen, descriptions of which might spoil the story, but throughout the fear, shame, love, strength and ingenuity of the children is displayed.

I love this book. I felt for the children, for their wider family and their foster family very deeply. The challenges they face feel very real and how they deal with each, while sometimes causing more problems for themselves, is always understandable and evokes sympathy and empathy in the reader.

While it might have easily been a tale of hopelessness and despair, it manages to rise above both and leave the reader with at least a measure of optimism. We are led through the story by Sade, a girl of twelve, who has to navigate them both through stormy waters.

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review 2019-07-11 22:30
Fabulous Historical Romance!
Devil's Run - Beverley Oakley

Devil's Run by Beverley Oakley is an outstanding historical romance.  Ms. Oakley has provided readers with a well-written book.  The characters are phenomenal and I loved the way Ms. Oakley maneuvered them through this story.  Eliza was to marry a man she didn't care for but then she finds Jack, the son she gave up at birth, is a playmate to his cousins' children.  Rufus sees another side of Eliza and wants to marry her.  Rufus and Eliza's story is loaded with drama, action, humor, spice and suspense.  I enjoyed reading Devil's Run and look forward to my next book by Beverley Oakley.  Devil's Run is book 3 of the Scandalous Miss Brightwell Series but can be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.


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review 2018-12-05 02:54
Gritty story with a second chance at love despite poor choices
Forsaking Hope - Beverley Oakley

Very gritty story, a view from the not-so-pretty side of this time period. Hope was a strong woman, trying to protect her sister from what Hope's life had become. Felix took a bit to warm up to as he was concerned mostly about appearances. Missed opportunities and second chances made this a good story, although I found the story ended a little more abrupt than expected.

I received a copy of this story through Candid Book Reviews, and this is my unsolicited review.

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review 2018-11-11 19:35
Uncertain Justice: Canadian Women and Capital Punishment, 1754-1953 - F. Murray Greenwood,Beverley Boissery

This is a quite interesting book. In general, the book is in chronological order though it does start with a modern case. The authors are looking at how Canadian justice treated women for about two hundred years. Various cases are studied in depth. The particular reason I brought this book was that I was looking at the story of La Corriveau, and this presents a very good historical context on that case.

It does help to have some basic historical knowledge of Canada, but outside of that, it is an easy enough read for the non-criminal justice major.

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text 2018-08-24 10:22
Harsh judgment for Full Disclosure
Full Disclosure: A Novel - Beverley McLachlin

Jilly Truitt is a young, ambitious criminal lawyer making a name for herself.


When a wealthy businessman, Vincent Trussardi is accused of murdering his young wife, he reaches out to Truitt to defend him. This will be a high profile case with a significant retainer and Jilly is eager to take it on even though the evidence overwhelmingly suggests her client is guilty.


Full Disclosure is Beverley McLachlin’s first novel after retiring as the longest Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada for seventeen years, the first women to hold that position and the longest-serving Chief Justice in Canadian history.


As a jurist, McLachlin is formidable, as an author she’s just a beginner, and it shows.


There are a number of plot points in the book that stretched this reader’s suspension of disbelief nearly to the breaking point, but I hung in there expecting some insights regarding the Canadian legal system, the professionals involved and those they prosecute or defend.


There weren’t any. In fact, the lack of originality had me wondering if I hadn’t read this before. That isn’t to say I didn’t enjoy it. The story takes place in Vancouver, Canada, my hometown and hers, and it was fun recognizing the restaurants, landmarks and neighbourhoods where the scenes unfold.


Unfortunately, as the novel draws to an end, and with many questions still unanswered, the author (out of desperation?) resorts to the old, tired technique of having her protagonist goad a suspect, Perry Mason style, into confessing. Of course, this confession is taped on a recorder hidden in her pocket and is used to exonerate her client. See what I mean about lack of originality.


Though it didn't have any real bearing on the novel, I was surprised and disappointed at the author’s treatment of a First Nation person in her story. Though a very minor character, when this young woman is challenged by isolation and unhappiness her choice is to become a drug addict and support her habit by prostitution.


With so many other positive possibilities out there, why did someone of the McLachlin’s stature and presumed sensibilities choose this clichéd depiction of our Indigenous people?


Despite the efforts of the best editors Simon and Schuster employ, I doubt Full Disclosure would have been published had it not been for the author’s significant profile which, like all books written by celebrities, assures at least some sales.


The real test will be McLachlin’s next novel.





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