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Mamaskatch

A Cree Coming of Age
Written by: Darrel J. McLeod
Length: 8 hrs and 43 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (16 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Growing up in the tiny village of Smith, Alberta, Darrel J. McLeod was surrounded by his Cree family's history. In shifting and unpredictable stories, his mother, Bertha, shared narratives of their culture, their family, and the cruelty that she and her sisters endured in residential school. McLeod was comforted by her presence and that of his many siblings and cousins, the smells of moose stew and wild peppermint tea, and his deep love of the landscape. Bertha taught him to be fiercely proud of his heritage and to listen to the birds that would return to watch over and guide him at key junctures of his life. 

However, in a spiral of events, Darrel's mother turned wild and unstable, and their home life became chaotic. Sweet and innocent by nature, Darrel struggled to maintain his grades and pursue an interest in music while changing homes many times, witnessing violence, caring for his younger siblings and suffering abuse at the hands of his surrogate father. Meanwhile, his sibling's gender transition provoked Darrel to deeply question his own sexual identity. 

The fractured narrative of Mamaskatch mirrors Bertha's attempts to reckon with the trauma and abuse she faced in her own life, and captures an intensely moving portrait of a family of strong personalities, deep ties, and the shared history that both binds and haunts them. 

Beautifully written, honest and thought-provoking, Mamaskatch - named for the Cree word used as a response to dreams shared - is ultimately an uplifting account of overcoming personal and societal obstacles. In spite of the traumas of Darrel's childhood, deep and mysterious forces handed down by his mother helped him survive and thrive: her love and strength stayed with him to build the foundation of what would come to be a very fulfilling and adventurous life. 

Cover design courtesy of Douglas & McIntyre, (2013) Ltd.

©2018 Darrel J. McLeod (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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Engaging Memoir

Darrel has written an engaging memoir. His stories take you into his experience of growing up Cree in Canada. Heartbreaking, hopeful and resilient.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Why the southern accent?

Loved the story and book overall. However, the narration kept throwing me because I don’t picture a Cree from rural Alberta sounding like a southerner from the US. And the narration lilt kept changing from southerner to a mix of something else. It seemed out of place and strange which impacted my ability to fully integrate into the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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what a book!

gosh this is such an important story to hear. well written and narrated. tough at times to listen to but it's very important that its heard

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Interesting

An intimate view of one man's coming of age as a Cree in Canada in the 50s. Well written, at times difficult to read, but well worth the struggle.

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Beautiful but sad story

Excellent audio book. Very sad story but beautiful. i always prefer when authors read their own stories tho but narrator was very good!