Review of Just Pretending by Lisa Bird-Wilson

Just Pretending - Lisa Bird-Wilson

I don't often read short story collections but I picked this up at the library on a whim and I'm glad that I did. Lisa Bird-Wilson's collection is an entertaining and often poignant read. She blends a sharp but subtle kind of humour with writing that is precise and very skilled, creating characters that feel intimately knowable despite the wide range of differences in gender, age, social status and race. Thematically, the stories within the book are tied together by issues of identity, many of the characters dealing with a dually marginalized life as Metis. Adoption and parenthood also come up a lot. Bird-Wilson's strength, I think, lies in her ability to engage her reader equally, regardless of these differences. The characters she creates are maybe not always likeable, but they are always memorable. She's definitely an author to watch out for.