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This Side of Sad

3.75  ·  Rating details ·  24 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Part mystery, part elegy, This Side of Sad begins with an ending: the violent enigma of a man's death. Was it an accident, or did James commit suicide? In the shattering aftermath, his widow, Maslen, questions her own capacity for love and undertakes a painful self-inquiry, examining the history of her heart and tracing the fault lines of her own fragile identity. What eme ...more
Paperback, 324 pages
Published September 5th 2017 by Goose Lane Editions
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3.75  · 
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 ·  24 ratings  ·  4 reviews


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James Fisher
Oct 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
This Side of Sad is a fascinating book and one I enjoyed reading as time went on. Not exactly a diary, journal or a memoir, This Side of Sad is a collection of "scrambled episodes" that map out one woman's travels down the road of past relationships and how they form who she is today.
Nancy
Jan 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Loved this first novel by Karen Smythe. It was recommended to me by a person working in an independent bookstore in Waterloo, Ontario. What appealed to me was supporting an emerging woman author from nearby Guelph, Ontario.

This is a book I couldn't put down. It reads like having a conversation with a close friend, a reflective conversation about her life, mainly through key relationships with 4 men; Rob, Josh, Ted and James. Mostly focused on Josh, Ted and James. What she learns about herself th
...more
Gena Shepherd
Dec 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A man at my local bookstore recommended this book to me as one of his favourite books of the year. I’m glad he did, as I don’t know if I would have found the book otherwise. Personal, wise and endearing, Mazlin and her story will stay with me for a long time.
Jessica
Oct 29, 2017 rated it did not like it
Didn’t even finish reading the book. Not my cup of tea.
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Karen Smythe is the author of a short-story collection, Stubborn Bones, and Figuring Grief, a groundbreaking analysis of the depiction of mourning in fiction by Mavis Gallant, Alice Munro, Virginia Woolf, Edna O'Brien, and others. Her stories have also appeared in Grain, the Fiddlehead, the Antigonish Review, and the Gaspereau Review. She lives in Guelph, Ontario.