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That Time I Loved You: Stories

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  357 ratings  ·  68 reviews
In her “compact gem of a collection” (Globe Mail), Carrianne Leung enlivens a singular group of characters sharing a shiny new subdivision in 1970s Toronto. Marilyn greets new neighbors with fresh-baked cookies before she starts stealing from them. Stay-at-home-wife Francesca believes passion is just one yard away, only in the arms of another man. And Darren doesn’t unders ...more
Hardcover, 224 pages
Expected publication: February 26th 2019 by Liveright (first published March 27th 2018)
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4.04  · 
Rating details
 ·  357 ratings  ·  68 reviews

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May 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-star-books
I've been trying to read more Canadian authors lately, which led to me reading this book! What a fantastic collection of short stories all taking place in the same suburban neighbourhood. These stories are all intertwined and have characters from the other chapters popping into them. Such an intriguing read, with glimpses into the neighbour's lives! I highly recommend this one!
I was fully absorbed and thoroughly enjoyed That Time I Loved You by Carrianne Leung. This is a bit surprising since it is a book of linked stories. In some linked stories I’ve read, the author fails to pull all the different stories together in a cohesive way so that the reader does not necessarily get emotionally involved with each story. This is not the case however with That Time I Loved You. Carrianne Leung’s integration engaged me in every single linked story. I think part of this is Leung ...more
Mar 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Started off a bit slow, and it was hard for me personally to reconcile the idyllic Scarborough veneer Leung describes with the more contemporary Scarborough I'm familiar with, but I really like some of the later chapters. The bit about the parents' suicides in the beginning didn't really grab me, and, I felt, didn't really go anywhere, but the final chapters were fantastic.

My favourites:
- "Things" - Darren's story about being Jamaican-Canadian and dealing with a math teacher who keeps picking o
Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canlit, short-stories
Oscillating between 3 and 4. There certainly are some memorable stories in That Time I Loved You. On the other hand... there certainly are some forgettable ones. The stories are linked by a neighbourhood in suburban Scarborough. So if you're looking for a range of stories in this collection, you're not going to be travelling outside a few streets' radius. What Carrianne Leung finds within this neighbourhood in the late 70s to early 80s is quiet and lively at the same time. While I didn't grow up ...more
Elena L.
Jan 18, 2019 rated it liked it
This is a good collection of short stories setting in a suburb neighborhood (Scarborough) in 1970s: in "That time I loved you", the stories are interconnected and told in multiple narrators - this book approaches topics such as daily struggles, marriage, family, immigrants and unhappiness. The way Carrianne Leung describes the characters is well-developed, with diverse backgrounds and a pinch of dark humor and satirism. Though I didn't feel connected with any particular character, the writing is ...more
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A collection of linked short stories set in 70s in the Toronto suburb of Scarborough. Beautiful and nostalgic. How come every writer who writes about Scarborough, writes so well? David Chariandy, Catherine Hernandez and now Carrianne Leung.
Erika Nerdypants
June is 9 years old, the year is 1979 and she lives in a brand new Scarborough subdivision. As the naive and protected child of Chinese immigrants she feels safe in her neighbourhood of other immigrant families. But when the parents start killing themselves, things start to subtly change all around her. Told in interconnecting stories by several different narrators, all of them living just houses away from each other, we learn that while on the surface all seems placid, this is far from true. Be ...more
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book for several reasons. It was very easy to read.. no fancy literary tricks to deal with, but just a simple story of life in the shiny new suburbs of Scarborough in the 1980's. It is a very accurate picture of the multi-culti life in Canada. Also, the author has a wonderful way of peeking inside the lives of her characters in a gentle and affectionate way. It deals with unhappiness and suicide, but never becomes morbid. The character of June is especially well drawn. I highly recomm ...more
Mar 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actual rating - 3.5 Stars. For this review and many others, please visit -

The best way to describe this book is – strangely addicting!

As the book opens on a newly built neighbourhood in Scarborough Ontario, just outside of Toronto, we see a group of people all looking for the same thing; the perfect suburban life. A stones throw away from the city, they’re in a quiet place with tree lined streets, not having to lock their doors, friendly hello’s as they
Jul 03, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
That Time I Loved You by Carrianne Leung as reviewed by Gail M. Murray

Who wouldn’t be intrigued to read a book with such an enchanting title? This proved to be the most disappointing book I’ve read this summer, in fact, probably ever.
In the Fifties the suburbs were shiny and new and hailed as the best place to raise a family. I recall vising my aunt and uncle in their lovely new Scarborough bungalow. My cousins and I played outside joyously with their new beagle puppy in their chain link fenc
Jan 27, 2019 rated it liked it
Years ago, I read Sherwood Anderson’s collection of stories, Winesburg, Ohio. The collection moves from character to character, all residents of the same, small town, revealing their secrets and thoughts. It ripped away myths about idyllic life on Main Street, America. Like Winesburg, Ohio, Carrianne Leung’s collection of linked stories, That Time I Loved You, also destroys a lot of the nostalgic, idealized ideas we might have about suburban life: especially when one of the main characters revea ...more
Oct 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Some stories are more crafted than others but the entirety of the tapestry Leung has woven is beautifully intricate. There is an intentional, yet not forced interplay between the desperation of the adults and the loss of innocence of the children. As a lover of diaspora literature, I also loved the multi-ethnic characters.

I also particularly appreciated the last paragraph in the author's ending acknowledgements. It has always been my hope to find what feels like personal messages in author's not
This book ticks off all of my book desires: interconnected stories, diverse characters, varying levels of darkness and humor, messed up/dysfunctional families, accidental beauty and effortless sadness and threads of joy and love and tenderness and vulnerability. At times super ralatable and at others new and learnable. LOVE IT!
Laurie Burns
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canadian, shorts
This book is short stories, in a way, but connected shorts.
I really like the new lens on a coming of age story, set in Scarborough.
Really deep characters and feelings, seeing the dept of the mundane.
The book is woven together by the different short stories, surrounding the characters June has interactions with. This book touches on the delicate issue of suicides, and their aftermaths in the little community of Scarborough. I liked it, even though "short stories" is not my genre, as all the characters are related. This book is on the longlist of Canada Reads 2019.
Sep 30, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked that is was essentially a book of interconnected short stories, and loved the writing in places, but overall wasn't that impressed.
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars

From Amazon: "The suburbs of the 1970s promised to be heaven on earth—new houses, new status, happiness guaranteed. But in a Scarborough subdivision populated by newcomers from all over the world, a series of sudden catastrophic events reveals that not everyone’s dreams come true. Moving from house to house, Carrianne Leung explores the inner lives behind the tidy front gardens and picture-perfect windows(.)"

Set between 1979 and 1981, years I remember well, being a mom with a school-age
Catherine Coles
Set in 1970s Scarborough, THAT TIME I LOVED YOU follows a variety of characters, most of whom are first or second generation immigrants, living in a diverse suburban neighbourhood. All of the characters bring something different to the table. As a collective they tell a story about a community with a lot of secrets and inner demons. I loved the bits of vintage Canadiana thrown around — this book definitely has a nostalgic feel, but there is a darkness to it.

that time i loved you
This was a strong 3.5 for me. I loved Leung's approach to writing, so simple yet so engaging. I, as well, love vignette stories, so this really resonated with me. However, I wish there would've been a tighter connection between the stories as I felt some story lines weren't properly wrapped up. Overall quick, enjoyable read.
MaryLou Dickinson
I really enjoyed "That Time I Loved You." It deserves all the accolades it is receiving. Such profound, moving, fascinating stories. I love the way they are threaded together by one character or another, by events, by place and by time in an intricate quilt. Such fine writing. A remarkable book.
Apr 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, borrowed
I’m never going to look at Scarborough the same way again...nor my parents’ friends. This book is both stunning and haunting
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book takes place in Scarborough, just as the community had begun to develop, and people were settling in the suburb. It was nice to feel a twinge of nostalgia, for all the songs of the time, and staple objects and figures that were mentioned. While there are subtle comments on streets and areas that are familiar to me (having grown up in Scarborough), I feel as though the stories told cannot be called unique for the setting, but I do feel they are fitting. We’re treated to the perspectives ...more
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I LOVED this book. The writing is fabulous, the different voices interesting and interconnected, and the era (my youth too!) resonates. You don't have to be young in the 70s to appreciate this book though. It has insights on culture, family, parents, aging, dating, on and on and on for anytime.
Highly recommend!
I am glad it got onto the long list for Canada Reads. I hope it makes the short list.

And so it ENDS.
"(view spoiler)
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thanks to WW Norton & Co and NetGalley for providing this advance reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review.

This was one of my most satisfying reads of the year (2018). There’s a quirky, meditative mood as these connected stories unfold and we learn about this eclectic mix of neighbors. The residents are very diverse: Jamaican, Chinese from Hong Kong, East Indian, Portuguese, Italian, and Greek. Living on “sister” streets in a Toronto neighbor, they maintain a friendly veneer. But thei
Jan 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow, this book blew me away. The author, Carrianne Leung, writes what is almost a series of stories that intersect in place - a neighbourhood. A 1970s middle class tract housing development with themed street names. While characters do overlap some in each story, the stories could read independently. Ms. Leung has taken an over arching topic of suicide (I don’t think I’m spoiling anything as it is mentioned in the first couple pages) and then taken a deeper look into the people in this neig
Ben Truong
Sep 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Ben by: Toronto Book Awards
That Time I Loved You is an anthology of short stories written by Carrianne Leung. The theme of this anthology is a neighborhood in one of suburbs of Toronto (Scarborough) in the 1970s that is populated by newcomers from all over the world. It surrounds and centers on June, an irrepressible adolescent Chinese-Canadian and her coming of age. It has been short-listed for the 2018 Toronto Book Awards.

For the most part, I really like most of these contributions. That Time I Love You consists of ten
Dec 26, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5/5: Carrianne Leung's That Time I Loved You tells the stories of several people in Scarborough, a Toronto suburb, in the 1970s - beginning with June, a young girl who reveals that a few neighborhood parents have died in the past year. (Be aware that suicide is a frequent issue in the book.) Each story explores a person living in the neighborhood - the kleptomaniac, a child who is being molested, the son of one of the adults who committed suicide - and the slowly it's revealed what each person ...more
Nov 01, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: canada
Scarborough seems to be a fantastic new breeding ground for Canlit, between Chariandry, Hernandez and now Leung, I've blown away. Leung's That Time that I loved You is a series of inter connected stories, all set in 1970s Scarborough, on one street of a new subdivision. A series of suicides rocks the neighbourhood, especially the children as everyone struggles with their own identities and how to cope. It really is a case of you don't know what goes on behind closed doors. A few minor quibbles, ...more
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Carianne Leung is the author of a masterful and heartfelt collection of linked short stories. The cover depicts a middle class Toronto neighborhood home. What stories were hidden away in this house? How would they change or connect the people within?

I was not disappointed. Each story was a gem. The seemingly peaceful corner of suburbia was jarred that year, 1979, by a series of suicides. Some stories are told from the viewpoint of a young child trying to cope with growing up as well as the death
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