The Break by Katherena Vermette
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Review by Norma: 4.5 stars!
THE BREAK by KATHERENA VERMETTE is a dark, gritty, heartbreaking, and a powerful intergenerational family saga that was quite intense and depressing to read. The Break refers to a piece of land between two rows of houses which is outside the home of Stella a young Métis mother who witnessed a violent act on the Break. I think The Break also refers to a more general break in things such as relationships, ourselves, and our past.
This book opens up to a trigger warning to it’s readers but I felt that KATHERENA VERMETTE handled the violence very well and although some of the details was hard to read at times, was very sad and depressing it is an important piece of Canadian culture and I really appreciated the author giving a voice to these indigenous Manitoban women.
KATHERENA VERMETTE delivers a well-written read here that is told in multiple perspectives with separate chapters of each character within this family. There are a lot of characters to keep track of here but with the help of an illustration of the family tree I didn’t have too much trouble keeping track of all the characters involved. I thought the author gave a realistic voice to these women as we seen how they coped with the violence and how they healed each other through their love, strength, resilience and kindness.
This wasn’t a happy book and I wouldn’t say that I had a connection to any of these characters but I did have a connection to the story in a whole though and it did open up my eyes and showed me how it is to live in a neighborhood like the one described in this book. I appreciated that she put a voice to them. For that I have hope.
To sum it all up it was an emotional demanding, interesting, suspenseful, and an engaging read that will stay with me for a very long time. Would recommend!!
This was a Traveling Sisters group read that I had the pleasure of reading along with Lindsay, Susanne, Diane and Dem.
Thank you so much to Edelweiss, House of Anansi Press, and Katherena Vermette for the opportunity to read a copy of this book in exchange for a review.
Watching Glass Shatter by James J. Cudney
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Traveling Sister Review by Brenda and Norma with Kaceey, Lindsay, Susanne and Marialyce
We read Watching Glass Shatter with four of our Traveling Sisters and we have prepared a combined Traveling Sisters Read Review, which is our signature review for our blog.
Watching Glass Shatter is an interesting, witty, heartwarming but yet a heartbreaking family drama that explores many family secrets within the Glass family and the familial relationships between mothers and sons. It has quite the intriguing mystery within the storyline which added some suspense to the story for us.
James J. Cudney does a fantastic job creating realistic characters with their own unique stories giving his characters a lot of heart and a down to earth feel. There is a lot of family drama going on within this family drama story and at times felt like it was a tad bit over the top. James does a great job separating the characters into their own chapters and giving them strong distinct voices and each with their own secrets. Each chapter ends with a cliff-hanger keeping us interested and engaged.
We all absolutely loved the humor that James brought to the story and had us laughing out loud a few times. At times we felt there was little witty theatrics going on and that added some warmth and laughter to the story for us.
Olivia brought out some strong feelings and reactions from us. We felt anger, sad, hopeful, and respect for her as we saw her perspective changing towards her sons throughout this story. We felt most of our discussion had us thinking and discussing Mother’s and their relationships with their sons and this opened up quite the discussion amongst ourselves.
What a clever title for this book as the Glass family’s life was shattered after the sudden death of Olivia’s husband. Through her perseverance, by getting to know her sons again she began to piece her family back together giving us a clear picture in our minds of the glass shattering. Brilliant James!
Thank you so much to James J. Cudney for providing us a copy to read in exchange for a review.