Title: The Break
Author: Katharena Vermette
Rating: 4.5/5 ⭐
Club: I read this to review for the Diverse Books Club although it was not ultimately chosen as one of the November selections for Indigenous Perspectives month.
From Goodreads: 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.
There were great and believable family dynamics in the story with generations of strong women being given a voice. Honestly, I think that is this story’s greatest strength.
The biggest negatives for me were that it took me like 90 pages to get into the story and it was hard for me to keep track of the characters at first, especially since everyone seemed to have nicknames. However, my copy included an awesome family chart that helped me keep everybody, and their nicknames, straight.
BUT, once I was drawn in, I was hooked. There’s no real mystery as to what happened but I still found myself needing to know how it would all fall out. I felt connected to each of the characters and could understand each of their struggles. No one acts perfectly but you can have sympathy for basically everyone involved (if not every single person).
Trigger warnings: sexual abuse, violence against women, and drugs. The sexual trauma is explained in a very graphic way that I have never seen before and I wish I had been aware going in.