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Stella, a young Metis mother, lives with her family by the Break, an isolated strip of land on the edge of their small Canadian town. Glancing out of her window one winter's evening Stella spots someone in trouble; horrified, she calls the police. But when they arrive, no one is there, scuff marks in the compacted snow the only sign anything may have happened.
What follows is a heartbreaking and powerful tale of a community in crisis as the people connected to the victim, a young girl on the edge of a precipice, begin to lay bare their stories leading up to that fateful night. Lou is a social worker grappling with the end of a relationship. Cheryl, an artist, mourns the premature death of her sister. Phoenix, a homeless teenager, is released from a youth detention centre with no one to turn to. Officer Scott is a Metis policeman caught between two worlds.
A powerful family saga, Katherena Vermette's urgent, acclaimed and multi-award-winning novel shines a light on the fear every woman carries within her―fear of male power and violence―and on the love and empathy shared by all women.
'I loved this - very tough and real.' Margaret Atwood
'Katherena Vermette is a tremendously gifted writer, a dazzling talent . . . The lives of the girls and women in The Break are not easy, but their voices are complex, urgent and unsparing. Vermette lays bare what it means to survive, not only once, but multiple times, against the forces of private and national histories.' Madeleine Thien, author of Do Not Say We Have Nothing
'Vermette is a staggering talent. Reading The Break is like a revelation; stunning, heartbreaking and glorious. From her exquisitely rendered characters to her fully realized world and the ratcheting tension, I couldn't put it down. Absolutely riveting.' Eden Robinson, author of Monkey Beach