Lullabies for Little Criminals

Author: Heather O’Neill

Publisher: Harper Collins

Price: $17.50, TC


Baby, a 12-year-old living with her 27-year-old heroin addict father, is a child who wants to be playing with dolls but is caught in the reality of her poverty-stricken life. She feels she has to become a drug addict in order to win her father’s favour, but learns after increasing violence that her relationship with her dad is forever changed. When she captures the attention of Alphonse, the neighbourhood pimp, her life spirals desperately out of control. This story, as well written as Janet Fitch’s White Oleander, deftly portrays the heart-wrenching story of a truly empathetic character.


Pink Icing and Other Stories

Author: Pamela Mordecai

Publisher: Insomniac Press

Price: $21.95, TP

In these 12 beautifully written short stories, author Pamela Mordecai, successfully paints a vivid portrait of life in Jamaica featuring a colourful cast of characters. In Shining Waters, a young priest realizes that ministering to his new parish might be more difficult than he had originally expected. In Chalk It Up, young Colleen wants to go to school with her older sisters but it isn’t until she has an accident at home that she is allowed to go. Written using the colloquial phrases and nuances of Jamaica’s everyday speech, Mordecai has created an engaging collection.

The Uses of Enchantment

Author: Heidi Julavits

Publisher: Doubleday

Price: $32.95, HC

In November 1985, 16-year-old Mary Veal is abducted after a field hockey practice. But when Mary returns a few weeks later with no recollection of where she had been, people in the town start to question the validity of her story. Her mother sends her to Dr. Hammer, a clinical psychologist, who writes a book about Mary’s so-called experience. Fifteen years later, when Mary returns for her mother’s funeral, memories resurface and all questions from the past are answered in this satisfyingly suspenseful story.