Saturday, January 12

Book Review: The Sometimes Lake

Title: The Sometimes Lake

Author: Sandy Bonny

Pages: EBook - 139

Summary: The stories in Sandy Bonny’s collection The Sometimes Lake will transport readers from the Arctic Circle to Alberta’s badlands, and from the waters of the Georgia Straight to the deep lasting space of the prairies. The characters that readers meet in these places will be oddly familiar or perhaps familiarly odd. There are children who live in the magical territory between their imagination and their parents’ realities; road builders from China and Australia who know the ghostly secrets at road’s end; men who shape their lives with the predictability of beehives; others who are confused by cultural shift or troubled by the security of cults; women who try to grieve for their unborn children, and others who play at suicide.

At the vortex of the surprising plots churns Bonny’s keen interest in science and its unexpected effect on human action and emotion. Her curiosity and scrutinizing intelligence as well as her ever playful wit guide the reader through close encounters with physical and psychological landscapes and then reveal the uncommon denominators in them that make people unique.

Open Land
The Jasmine Springs Road
Tango Medio
A Live Flames Will Start

My Rating: 6/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: For the most part, this collection wasn't the book for me. The writing itself was good, but how it was executed didn't exactly work for me. The author has her own unique flare for writing short stories, but I didn't exactly like it.

The Jasmine Springs Road was the best story in this collection. In fact, it was an excellent story, with excellent characterization, and a very intriguing plot. I just wish I could have enjoyed the rest of this collection as much as that individual story. This individual story captivated me, was the saving factor of the book, and shows the authors own writing talents, I really wish the rest of the book fell into this category.

While most just didn't connect to me plot wise, two stories in particular just didn't work for me at all. (Marrow and Tell). In both cases, I felt that the plots didn't have any flow to them - it felt like a splash of thoughts, and words that didn't come together to tell a story. Mind you those splashed of thoughts and words were well done, the quality of writing was well done, just not the execution or how the author chose to tell the story. There were many times, I felt like the flow of the individual short story was off.

Two other short stories worth noting were: Nogha and Traplines, which were fairly good reads. They did stick out to me as interesting, and both stories had some good plot/ character development. The endings of both stories were rather interesting in their own unique way, but overall, I was somewhat disappointed in this collection.

Would I recommend it to read: I'm not sure I'd recommend this collection. There was a lot that didn't seem to work well in it.

What to read next: The Last Salt Gift of Blood, This Cake is for the Party

Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2013 Category Challenge, Alphabet Challenge, Canadian Book Challenge VI, EBook Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge, New Author Challenge, Read-a-Latte Challenge


  1. Oh, I am sorry that this one didn't work for you. It sounds like there was a failure of execution and ideas, and that might have put me off too. I rarely read short story collections, and so I probably won't be reading this one. Thanks for being so honest with this review. It was much appreciated.

    1. It just didn't work for me. If you rarely read short story collections, then this one is a definite no.