Book Review: As Long As The Rivers Flow

As Long As The Rivers Flow by James Bartleman

As Long as the Rivers Flow by James Barleman

 

It is 1956 and the Cat Lake Indian Reserve in Northern Ontario is preparing for the annual Treaty Day. But what six-year-old Martha, an Anishinabe child, doesn’t know is that she is about to be shipped off to a Residential School, where the abuse is outrageously violent and at times sexual, and the education is a strict doctrine of anything but her own native culture. The story picks up with Martha returning home after 10 years as a very disturbed and angry young woman. The ensuing drama unfolds in a blank dystopian landscape of sex, substance abuse and suicide pacts. While not an altogether pleasant ride, it leaves in its wake a haunting beauty that finds forgiveness and hope in a place one would least expect to find it.

— Graham McDonald

 

Publisher: Knopf Canada

Price: $29.95   Page count: 272

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