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The Break cover art

The Break

Written by: Katherena Vermette
Narrated by: Michaela Washburn
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Publisher's Summary

2017 Burt Award for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Literature Finalist
Winner, Amazon.ca First Novel Award
Winner, Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction
Winner, Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award
Winner, McNally Robinson Book of the Year
A Canada Reads 2017 finalist
National Bestseller
2016 Governor General's Literary Award Finalist
2016 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize Finalist
National Post 99 Best Books of the Year
CBC Best Canadian Debut Novels 2016
Globe and Mail Best 100 Books of 2016
Quill & Quire Book of the Year
Kobo Best Books of the Year
Walrus Magazine The Best Books of 2016
49th Shelf Books of the Year

When Stella, a young Métis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break - a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house - she calls the police to alert them to a possible crime.

In a series of shifting narratives, people who are connected, both directly and indirectly, with the victim - police, family, and friends - tell their personal stories leading up to that fateful night. Lou, a social worker, grapples with the departure of her live-in boyfriend. Cheryl, an artist, mourns the premature death of her sister Rain. Paulina, a single mother, struggles to trust her new partner. Phoenix, a homeless teenager, is released from a youth detention centre. Officer Scott, a Métis policeman, feels caught between two worlds as he patrols the city. Through their various perspectives a larger, more comprehensive story about lives of the residents in Winnipeg's North End is exposed.

A powerful intergenerational family saga, The Break showcases Vermette's abundant writing talent and positions her as an exciting new voice in Canadian literature.

©2016 Katherena Vermette (P)2017 Anansi Audio

What listeners say about The Break

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Every Canadian must read

This is a book that will break your heart and mend it over and over again. It shouldn't be avoided for fear of the tragedy in it, but embraced and experienced for the necessity of the perspective and truth in it. It is as devastating and difficult as it is and compassionate, gentle and soothing. Every Canadian should read this authentically and lovingly told story.

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Devastating and Breathtaking

This book has been on my to reads for a long time. It absolutely broke me when I read it; however, it is an important and necessary read for all Canadians. The book tackles issues of lateral violence and intergenerational trauma, and comes with a trigger warning. I would highly recommend this book.

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Everyone needs to read or listen to this book!

As a Canadian, it’s important we understand this very important and special culture and work to educate ourselves. This book helped me understand a bit better about my second cousins, who are proud Blackfoot. I am so glad I was able to listen to this story.

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    4 out of 5 stars

Beautiful story of sisterhood

Sad but beautiful story of several generations of women who hold one another up through some terrible experiences. The narration is amazing and really brought the characters to life. Only con is that story is perhaps a little bit slow-moving.

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Wow!

Such a talented and courageous writer, and the narrator was perfect from start to finish.

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Enthralling

The narrator does a beautiful job of catching the characters' different voices. I picked up a print version after listening to the audiobook in a couple of days, but I have not read it yet, and fear it could not be as good as the audiobook. The performance was gripping, dramatic, engaging, and suspenseful. Each character's voice is single, distinct, and memorable. The story has an episode of horrifying violence at its core. One of the puzzles in a first experiencing of the novel is the weird way that violence almost risks being contained too easily -- part of the novelist's brilliance is to take you inside the mind of the perpetrator. Tastes differ, but I found the performance entirely engaging.

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Excellent!

I bought this book on a whim but it ended up being an excellent book as it was written and performed very well.

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love

this book is about love
the eagle represents love, the eagle flies high and sees everything, close to the creator, who knows everything and why.

this book is about strong women, holding each other up, loving and forgiving each other and themselves.

this book is about strong men, acting quietly in the back ground, making the women stronger.

this book is about truth, respect, humility, courage , honesty, wisdom and love.
this book is about understanding, and that sometimes we can never fully understand.

I fell in love with each character in this book, all important pieces of this great family, the universal family, the family where everyone has their own unique space to fill. we are all little children, if we are victim or the harmful person, this is only for a moment, people change, circumstances change .we will be both at some point in our lives.

life is precious
just breathe
and we all can heal

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A Real Gem

I was thoroughly engrossed in this book. I liked the way it took the characters and told of the story from their perspective, it worked very well. I found the story to be sad but with hope and happiness there too,

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A must read

I am so glad I finally listened to this book. The story is both heartbreaking and beautiful. A story about family, resilience, and understanding other's paths. The narration is fantastic, as is the writing.

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