Beyond This Point.


293 pages
ISBN 978-0-7710-7854-4
DDC C813'.54




Reviewed by Lynne Perras

Lynne Perras is a communication arts instructor in the Faculty of
General Studies, University of Calgary.


Holley Ribinsky, author of Beyond This Point, has an impressive literary career behind her: she has written many short stories, has been an adjudicator in several literary competitions, has won critical acclaim for her work, and has taught writing at various colleges. With such experience, it is not surprising to discover that this latest effort is an entertaining and well crafted book.


This poignant novel traces the stories of contemporary and ordinary Canadian women struggling in various stages of their lives. It begins with Kathleen, whose husband has suddenly died of a heart attack, and continues with Lenore, whose husband has left her for another woman, Lucinda, who tries to revive a failing relationship with her male lover, and Mory, who is an HIV-positive single mother and ex-prostitute. Two other female characters—Bet, a businesswoman whose husband and children refuse to remain under her control, and Milee, a teenager who is coming to terms with the death of her mother—also figure largely in the novel. As the lives of these very different women intersect, they begin very personal journeys on their way to recovery and ultimate survival. Kathleen travels from Toronto into the interior of British Columbia, and Lenore leaves Vancouver to find herself in the middle of the province as well. The rugged landscape of the area reflects the difficult inner struggles of Beyond This Point’s protagonists.


Rubinsky is adept at drawing multi-faceted and believable characters and at weaving an engrossing story; that she is able to do so with many characters (both male and female), and so many sub-plots, speaks volumes about her literary abilities. Beyond This Point also reveals Rubinsky’s strong ear for dialogue. The only minor flaw seems to be that the story drags a little in the middle of the book, but tends to pick up quickly again afterwards. The novel will likely appeal to female readers in its focus on healing after experiencing a harsh blow and coming to terms with oneself and the past. This reviewer looks forward to subsequent novels from Rubinsky.


Rubinsky, Holley., “Beyond This Point.,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 20, 2024,