Recent and upcoming Canadian fiction to read in your comfy chair

Winter is a great time for reading; there’s nothing like curling up in a comfy chair with a good book and a hot beverage on a cold day. And in a pandemic winter, with its lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, there’s even more incentive to hunker down and read. The good news is that there are several new novels by Canadian writers to take up. Here are some new releases I’ve just finished or am looking forward to reading in my comfy chair. Go to my blog ( for full reviews of all titles.

The Push by Ashley Audrain

This psychological drama, released on January 5, has received a lot of positive reviews.  Blythe, a young mother, has difficulty making a connection with her daughter Violet. Is Blythe a bad mother or is Violet a bad seed? Though I found the book somewhat predictable, it does make some noteworthy observations about the challenges of motherhood. (I reviewed this book on my blog on January 1.)

The Historians by Cecilia Ekbäck

Though Cecilia Ekbäck was born in northern Sweden, she has made Canada her home for several years. Her first two novels, Wolf Winter and The Midnight Sun, are historical thrillers set in Swedish Lapland. I recommend both to those who enjoy Scandinavian noir. Told from three different perspectives, The Historians, set in Sweden in 1943, centres on disappearances and murders that ultimately lead to the discovery of a disturbing secret many in the country will do anything to keep hidden. (This book was released on January 18; my review is scheduled to be posted on February 2.)

A Town Called Solace by Mary Lawson

Mary Lawson is one of my favourite Canadian authors. I loved her three previous novels (Crow Lake, The Other Side of the Bridge, and Road Ends) so was thrilled to see this new title. In 1972 in northeastern Ontario, seven-year-old Clara keeps a daily vigil at her front window hoping for the return of her sister who has run away. Her other daily chore is to go next door to take care of Mrs. Orchard’s cat while she is in hospital. To Clara’s surprise, a man named Liam Cane moves into Mrs. Orchard’s house which she has gifted to him though he hasn’t seen her in 30 years. We learn Mrs. Orchard’s secrets, as Clara and Liam become friends and Liam adapts to life in a small town. This beautifully written story has everything: suspense, humour, a strong plot, and realistic characters. (The book will be released on February 16, and my review will be posted two days earlier.)

The Speed of Mercy by Christy Ann Conlin

This is an author I’ve been meaning to read. This book, the writer’s fifth one, is set in Nova Scotia and focuses on a childhood betrayal and a dark family secret of murder. The book has been praised for its realistic portrayal of older, rural women. I enjoy novels about the discovery of skeletons in family closets so look forward to opening the pages of this one. (The book will be released on March 23; my review is scheduled for March 22.)

The Relatives by Camilla Gibb

This novel addresses the question of what it means to be a family. Tess and Emily, after an ugly separation, are fighting over ownership of embryos while the unknown man who served as anonymous donor is being held in captivity in Somalia. (This book will also be published on March 23; my blog will feature my review on March 26.)

Happy reading!


  1. Glenn Allen

    Thank you Doreen Yakabuski for your generous reviews. I’m pretty sure those are all fine choices for a comfy couch session and I’ll look forward to at least a couple in the next while. But certainly not before I have go at “The Captive” by our own Brudenell native Fiona King Foster. “All thriller, no filler” pronounced a brief Ottawa Citizen review a couple of weeks back. Chatelaine reviewer Courtney Shea tipped it as an equal to Audrain’s “Push” and this past Saturday’s Toronto Star saw a quarter page rave for “The Captive” by Robert Weirsema, himself no slouch on the page. You’ll find no shortage of generous kudos out there in googleland for Fiona’s fine debut novel. (Always best to refrain from over-indulging in reviews to avoid plot spoilers.)

    And yes, I do know Fiona. It’s an honour to be able to bring her to your attention.

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