Thursday, April 7, 2016

History Corner: Tears in the Grass by Lynda A. Archer

Disclosure / Disclaimer: I received this ebook, free of charge,from DunDurn Books, via Edelweiss,for review purposes on this blog. No other compensation, monetary or in kind, has been received or implied for this post. Nor was I told how to post about it

Since we had a Canadian mystery earlier this week, 
it only makes sense to have one for History Corner too!

This new book releases next week.

tears in the grass cover


For Elinor Greystone, the only way forward is back into the past.

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.


Unfortunately, when it comes to Native American history, that in Canada mirrored what happened in the US, so this book is a very interesting read, as it opens up the abuse and error of the attempt to integrate native children into 'white' society by forcing them away from their families, and into church run schools. These schools were meant to expose them to 'culture', and once the children were integrated, they would go back and force the white culture upon their peoples. The reality was quite different. Native Americans had their own culture, which was ridiculed and taken away from the children. their hair was cut, they were put in unfamiliar clothes, forced to remain inside (akin to caging them), and frequently into being victims of horrid abuse.

This fictionalized tale looks at one of those children. How her life developed, and how the secrets she kept from the school haunted her life, and in keeping them, how it shaped her daughter and granddaughter's lives. The stories move back and forth, from past to present, but in a fluid way, that moves the tale on. How their lives run parallel without their knowledge is the core of the tale. There is so much in one boo- family dysfunction, history, reunion, recovery and renewal. It is an amazing first novel and one not to be missed!

About the Author

Lynda A. Archer holds a MFA in creative writing from Spalding University and has worked as a clinical psychologist for more than thirty years. Her short stories have been published in The Dalhousie ReviewThe Wascana Review, and The New QuarterlyTears in the Grass is her first novel. Lynda lives on an island in British Columbia.

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