Book Review: The Break by Katherena Vermette

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Reviewed by: Savannah
Genre: Fiction
Format: Paperback
Page count: 288 Pages
Rating: 5/5 stars
In stock: Yes (25% off!)

This book is not a light read at all. There is actually a disclaimer or trigger warning on one of the first pages as it deals with, and talks about violence quiet a bit. So be warned and cautious if you plan on reading the book. If you’re still interested and want to know more, have a little Goodreads synopsis

When Stella, a young Métis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break — 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, both directly and indirectly, with the victim — police, family, and friends — tell their 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 Métis policeman, feels caught between two worlds as he patrols the city. Through their various perspectives a larger, more comprehensive story about lives of the residents in Winnipeg’s North End is exposed.

A powerful intergenerational family saga, The Break showcases Vermette’s abundant writing talent and positions her as an exciting new voice in Canadian literature.”

The first thing that actually drew me to read this book was the shifting narratives because we all know how much I love those. I always enjoy being able to experience a story from all different viewpoints and know everyone’s secrets. This book does a great job of relating all the different characters struggle’s and lives to the one main situation at hand.

This book got put on the Canada Read’s Shortlist for 2017 so obviously I decided I had to read it (and maybe all the others on the list as well? I can’t decide how ambitious I’ll be this year). Especially with the theme being the one book Canadians need now? It just makes sense being Canadian and all.

The spine of the paperback version of the book is pretty stiff though, so just be warned you will have to either break it (please don’t) or awkwardly get hand cramps (like me). This book will be difficult to read physically, and emotionally.

However, I do have to say that this book was a very good read. The subject matter was very important in my opinion. The book was also very well written and a very quick read as well, which is always a bonus.

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One Response to Book Review: The Break by Katherena Vermette

  1. annelogan17 says:

    I appreciate your commentary about the stiffness of the book-this can so often get overlooked!

    Liked by 1 person

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