Note: I received the following books from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All summaries are via Netgalley.com.
I’m still working my way through the bundle of ARCs I requested from NetGalley at the beginning of the year, so get ready for a slew of ARC roundup posts! Today I’m reviewing two of the latest adult fiction novels I’ve read, one of which was all right, and the other which was amazing.
Tears in the Grass
At ninety years of age, Elinor, a Saskatchewan Cree artist, inveterate roll-your-own smoker, and talker to rivers and stuffed bison, sets out to find something that was stolen almost a lifetime ago. With what little time she has left, she is determined to find the child taken from her after she, only a child herself, was raped at a residential school.
It is 1968, and a harsh winter and harsher attitudes await Elinor, her daughter, and her granddaughter as they set out on an odyssey to right past wrongs, enduring a present that tests their spirit and chips away at their aboriginal heritage. Confronting a history of trauma, racism, love, and cultural survival, Tears in the Grass is the story of an unflagging woman searching for the courage to open her heart to a world that tried to tear it out.
Do I know whether or not this book is an authentic representation of a Native American woman’s experience in turn-of-the-century to late 1960s Canada? Absolutely not. I can’t say I know a huge amount about either the Native American experience or Canada. Still, I found this book interesting and sweet.
Elinor, her daughter Louise, and her granddaughter Alice all have secrets they are hiding, but as Elinor reaches the end of her life, she has a strong desire to set things right. Although the three women are very different from each other, each one grows to have a deeper respect for the others and for their Cree heritage.
Rating: Good but Forgettable
When Tanya discovers her husband’s dead body at the foot of the stairs, she doesn’t scream for help or call the police. Instead, she pours herself a shot of bourbon, packs a bag, and leaves town. As Tanya travels, it becomes clear that this isn’t the first time she’s taken on a new identity, and it certainly won’t be the last. Tanya becomes Debra, Emma, Sonia, and many other people as she runs from her past. Is she innocent? You’ll have to find out for yourself.
The Passenger is what Girl on the Train should have been and wasn’t. Whereas Girl on the Train was predictable and a bit boring, The Passenger will keep you hooked from beginning to end, trying to guess what will happen next. I read this book in two big gulps, only putting it down because I had to get back to work. When I got home, I picked it up and didn’t put it down until it was finished. That’s the way a thriller should be.
Rating: Re-read Worthy