Weeping Goes Unheard

Weeping Goes Unheard by Lucia Mann

Book Reviewed by Timea Barabas

Weeping Goes Unheard” no longer as more and more voices speak up through a variety of channels. Lucia Mann contributes to this unveiling of a hidden (or as she argues, a covered) past of Canada by voicing those who have passed away, gone missing, or are still among us.

The author heavily relies on her journalistic investigation skill to document centuries of injustice against the First Nations of today’s Canada. However, she takes the uncovered data and weaves it into a compelling narrative. In my view, the book is a written embodiment of a documentary film with a series of reconstructions of events. Purchase Here.

Lucia Mann has proven time and time again with her previously published novels that she is a highly visual writer. Therefore, reading “Weeping Goes Unheard” is not that much unlike watching a documentary. What is more, she is equally a soulful writer, passionately driven by helping and voicing underprivileged communities of all races. This passion clearly transpires throughout the text.

The task set by the author was far from an easy one, as in front of her lay a long history of injustice that seeps into present days. In the book, different aspects of this monstrous manifestation are tackled, like forced deportations, residential schools, institutionalized abuse (mainly from figures of authority who should offer protection), and serial killers to mention just a few.

What makes this book stand out among others that approach the same topic is a mixture of elements and techniques that are skillfully handled by the author. The fragmented timeline, switching of narrative techniques, and perspectives are only a few of the strategies that keep the book dynamic and unpredictable (even though some readers will be familiar with at least some of the information conveyed). The readers are taken for a whirlwind of an experience with often sudden jolts between present and past (and frequent bleak reflections over a future that is yet to come).

All in all, “Weeping Goes Unheard” is a gritty book that brings into perspective stories from which society’s gaze has glazed over for too long. Due to the subject matter, it is not a read for all ages. While the book is highly informative and eye-opening, the ultimate goal of Lucia Mann goes beyond a simple passing down of knowledge. As a humanist and activist, she finds creative ways to engage the public with the hope to convert passive citizens of Canada – and of the world – into active participants that enact a change for the greater good.


Versus: A Tale of Zero-Sum Contestation by Simon Plaster

Book Reviewed by Dianne Woodman

Henrietta has embarked on a new career as a private detective working for FISSION FYI, which is located in Oklahoma City and owned and managed by Leroy “Lero” O’Rourke. Lero is busy with opposition research involving the Democratic and Republican candidates running for the office of the Governor of Oklahoma, so he assigns a pending acrimonious divorce case between Lilith Crammer and Adam Crammer to Henrietta. Randolph McCoy and Andrew Hatfield, who are senior partners in different law firms, represent the Crammers. They have known each other since elementary school, and the men thrive on a competitive relationship. McCoy and Hatfield adhere to opposing viewpoints in their political ideologies, and each one is a staunch supporter of their representative political party gubernatorial candidate. Along with them clashing politically and being on opposite sides in the divorce case, they are also in the midst of playing in an annual golf tournament. Both McCoy and Hatfield are not only determined to be the winner, but each man is also willing to stoop to deceitful and underhanded behavior for the purpose of one-upmanship. As Henrietta and Lero make headway in their endeavors, they are disrupted in their respective jobs by the ungentlemanly competition between McCoy and Hatfield. What will be the final outcome for any objectives set by Henrietta, Lero, McCoy, and Hatfield? Purchase Here.

Simon Plaster’s use of sensory language and literary devices conveys a vivid picture in readers’ minds and allows them to feel like they are right there in each scene experiencing what the characters are going through. Each character is instilled with their own unique qualities, and the distinctive dialogue of each notable character matches their vocal personality traits. Comparisons of characters in this wildly entertaining story to ones in movies and tv shows add to the overall visual impact experienced by readers. The scattering of strong language in the story fits in with the characters. Plaster has included song lyrics in a number of scenes, and they tie in marvelously with the text. The references to Stephen Potter, who wrote a book about gamesmanship, are very appropriate to the story.

Versus: A Tale of Zero-Sum Contestation is a great story in which Simon Plaster shows the disparity and distrust between political parties, the effects on the personal and professional lives of those involved in an all-or-nothing competition that has spanned decades, how stories imbued with truth and fiction can lead to unintended consequences, the lack of business integrity and its fallout, the negative and positive effects of competitiveness, the difficulties of separating the truth from lies, and the beneficial use of humor in some situations. Readers will also enjoy the political claptrap skillfully woven into this story. Plaster does an excellent job of grabbing readers’ attention from the beginning and keeping them invested until the end.