Five Little Indians

Five Little Indians

Book - 2020 | First edition.
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"Taken from their families when they are very small and sent to a remote, church-run residential school, Kenny, Lucy, Clara, Howie and Maisie are barely out of childhood when they are finally released after years of detention. Alone and without any skills, support or families, the teens find their way to the seedy and foreign world of Downtown Eastside Vancouver, where they cling together, striving to find a place of safety and belonging in a world that doesn't want them. The paths of the five friends cross and crisscross over the decades as they struggle to overcome, or at least forget, the trauma they endured during their years at the Mission. Fuelled by rage and furious with God, Clara finds her way into the dangerous, highly charged world of the American Indian Movement. Maisie internalizes her pain and continually places herself in dangerous situations. Famous for his daring escapes from the school, Kenny can't stop running and moves restlessly from job to job -- through fishing grounds, orchards and logging camps -- trying to outrun his memories and his addiction. Lucy finds peace in motherhood and nurtures a secret compulsive disorder as she waits for Kenny to return to the life they once hoped to share together. After almost beating one of his tormentors to death, Howie serves time in prison, then tries once again to re-enter society and begin life anew. With compassion and insight, Five Little Indians chronicles the desperate quest of these residential school survivors to come to terms with their past and, ultimately, find a way forward."--
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario : Harper Perennial, [2020]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2020
ISBN: 9781443459181
Branch Call Number: GOOD
Characteristics: 293 pages ; 23 cm
Alternative Title: 5 little indians


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Tammyd60 Mar 25, 2021

I know these people! This book helps to understand just a little bit better

Mar 19, 2021

Good read. Really enjoyed it.

Feb 17, 2021

I want to say that I feel that the comment from mclrajh is damaging. I don't think it's fair to say that this book is poorly written. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but there's also such a thing as right and wrong. This person may not have liked the book, but it is well written. I read it with great interest, and while the subject is not pleasant, i.e., the way abuse, disrespect and cruelty in childhood damage people, we as a society need to educate ourselves on the continued cruel treatment of our Aboriginal people. The author needs to be commended for telling a story that needs to be told and doing such a great job of bringing these five vulnerable teenagers to life.

Feb 15, 2021

Excellent, excellent book. Good does a wonderful job bringing the characters to life with empathy and compassion. She brings to light to those who ask 'why can't you just get over it?' Read this book. It'll help you understand why.

Jan 15, 2021

The Federal Report of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission is difficult to read. This book tells stories of characters with whom we can identify. Hopefully, some readers will be enlightened of the lifelong consequences of separating children from families and culture. Very readable. Perhaps some of us will listen.

Oct 25, 2020

Poorly written, wooden dialogue, stereotypical characters, conservative and intolerant, juvenile.

STPL_JessH Jun 01, 2020

I love this book. I absolutely love it. Five Little Indians will be called "Required Reading" and I absolutely agree. More than that, though, this is a story that invites the reader in. It does not force you to listen and provides important insights to those who up show up ready and willing to hear.

Even though this is Good's debut, there is a quality of the storytelling that is mature. The characters are freely able to converse in casual, conversational language without being weighed down by literary tropes. Spoken word is clearly the vehicle for this story and I am grateful that I had access to the audiobook.

The lives of the characters intersect in authentic ways. There are no forced collisions of stories. Instead, their tales are woven together with care and gentleness. Each story is unique and provides a different entrance into trauma, its lingering effects, and the ways in which people cope or are simply not able to cope. Unlike other novels, there is no judgment here. Characters are defended by one another even when they cause harm. Although there is a clear line drawn between survivors and those who have not been through the horrors of residential school, the conversations that occur between these two groups are crucial. Within these moments, readers are invited to witness profound understanding.

"I mean, think about it. Our childhood memories are about murder and mayhem. How many others can't bear their own thoughts?" Clara says in a moment that perfectly summarizes the gravitas this novel contains. I highly recommend this book. I will absolutely read whatever Good publishes next.

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