The Break by Katherena Vermette (154)

This is a very sad story that is poignant and alarming about indigenous women and their lives. Katherena Vermette does a wonderful job of describing the fate of indigenous women who struggle with abuses of all kinds. I love stories of redemption where women make lives for themselves after a very difficult life.

The live of the girls and women in this story are not easy. But their voices are complex, urgent, and unsparing. They don’t accept abuse without somehow deciding that this is not for them and they have to do something about it.

When Stella, a young Metis mother, looks out her window one evening and sees someone in trouble on a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house, she calls the police to alert them to a possible crime.

In a series of shifting narratives , people who are connected with the violence tell their own personal stories leading up to that fateful night. Lou, a social worker, grapples with the departure of her live-in boyfriend. Cheryl, an artist, mourns the premature death of her sister Rain. Paulina, a single mother, struggles to trust her new partner. Phoenix, a homeless teenager, is released from a youth detention centre. Officer Scott, a Metis policeman, feels caught between two worlds as he patrols the city Through their various perspectives a larger, more comprehensive story about the lives in this community and the after-effects of trauma emerges.

The story shows amazing understanding and strength as well as the incredible resiliency of Indigenous women, and the unwavering power of family love. It is a compelling intergenerational family saga that positions Katherena Vermette as an exciting new voice in literature.

I found the book compelling and the characters spell-binding. The story kept me reading and mourning for these wonderful women.

Rating: 5 stars

Reviewed by: Irene S. Roth


About irenesroth

I am a freelance and academic writer. I am currently writing a book called `Fearless Freelance Writers`. Please look out for it soon on this blog.
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