Week 21: "The Strangers" & Chocolate Chip Walnut Cookies
Why this book?
Today I am talking about a fictional book that I read. I typically only read about 4 or 5 a year. Over the last few years I have really wanted to read more books by indigenous authors. As well it just so happens June is National Indigenous Month. Katherena Vermette the author is a Red River Metis writer from Winnipeg. This novel weaves multiple stories around intergenerational trauma and the love of a family. This book shares individual stories over five years of the Stranger’s lives.
This book had all the feels, and there were times when I was crying, sometimes mad and sometimes confused. I felt that I was walking beside everyone in the family. You learn about the grandmother Margaret, the daughter Elsie and the three grandchildren Phoenix,Cedar and Sparrow. Early on in the book you learn that Sparrow had died but you don’t find out how until later. This is a significant event in all of the women’s lives that get weaved together. Margaret was the chain smoking grandmother who loved puzzles and Elsie was dealing with years of trauma and finding ways to cope after having her kids taken away. Phoenix also had a child taken away and spent years in prison while Cedar had an opportunity to move in with her biological dad. She was able to study hard and get an education.
This book showed how complex families are as well as what happens when you do and do not have the support system in place that you need. It is beautifully written and I highly recommend it.