One of the best things about reviewing is getting to read books that I might otherwise have missed. The latest novels to cross my desk were Robert MacNeil's Portrait of Julia and Michael Hingston's The Dilettantes. In some ways, they couldn't be more different - MacNeil's novel is a historical fiction, while Hingston's is a whip-smart modern-day look at student journalism - but both were great for a few hours of escapism. Brief blurbs below! The First World War has ended, and newly-widowed Julia Robertson has escaped to France to pick up the pieces of her life. While there, she poses for Canadian expatriate painter J. W. Morrice, and as the brushes flow, Julia’s recent travels – and romances – spill out into the open.
The student newspaper at Simon Fraser University has been dealt a blow: Metro, the free daily blanketing the lower mainland, has finally made its way to campus. As Alex, Tracy, and the other editors at The Peak scramble to rally the newspaper troops, a mid-level celebrity arrives on campus and puts in a bid for student society president.