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KATHERENA VERMETTE is a Metis writer from Treaty One territory, the heart of the Metis nation, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Her first book, North End Love Songs (The Muses Company) won the Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry. Her NFB short documentary, this river, won the Coup de Coeur at the Montreal First Peoples Festival, and has been nominated for a Canadian Screen Award. Her first novel, The Break was shortlisted for a Governor General Literary Award, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and is now a Canada Reads finalist.
Emily is subjected to a horrific attack where she is raped with a glass bottle that breaks inside her. This story, peopled by Native ~Canadians, part of a Métis community, does not centre on the ghastly attack but on the reactions to that attack by all members of the family, bringing them closer together. Each chapter is narrated by a different person: relative, friend, enemy, cop, and crosses the generations where backstories are told and friends met. It is a big tale in only 368 pages, a tale of tragedy yes, but of inspiration, determination and hope, a stunning read, not a quick one but when the tension starts mounting you do feel an urgency to turn those pages fast. A family tree is included, essential as a reminder of who is speaking in each chapter. The best, in my opinion, is the family story and how they interact with each other. Highly recommended. ~ Sarah Broadhurst
A GOVERNOR GENERAL'S LITERARY AWARD FINALIST Longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award 2018 Crime Book of the Month, Sunday Times, February 2018 'I loved this... very tough and very real.' - Margaret Atwood When Stella, a young mother in an Indigenous community, looks out her window one wintry evening and spots someone being attacked on the Break - a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house - she calls the police. By the time help arrives, all that is left of the struggle is blood on the snow. As the search for the victim intensifies, people who are connected, both directly and indirectly - police, family, and friends - tell their personal stories leading up to that fateful night, uncovering secrets and resentments long buried and giving blazing testimony to the lived reality of people pushed out to the coldest edges of modern Canada.