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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

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Excellent in every way

This was one of those books I want to go out and buy now to have in my library forever. I’m recommending this book to everyone I know. Performance was excellent but more than that the characters are all well developed without one wasted word. This author is a master story teller and I will be seeking more books by Katherine Vermette.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Heavy reading

The Break was a heart wrenching listen but such an important story that needs to be heard. #audible1

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Incredible

I loved everything about this book. The characters are so rich and real. I felt invested in all of them regardless of whether I loved them or hated them. I loved the switching point of view. I couldn’t wait to find out what was happening next to any given character.
This book is raw and real and gut wrenching. It made me uncomfortable at times in a really good way. It challenged me. It discusses the very real past and present struggles, abuses, marginalization and lack of support that Canada’s First Nations people have to go through everyday. I have recommended it to everyone.
I will listen to any book that is narrated by Michaela Washburn. She is an incredibly talented voice actor. Her heritage brings this book about Canada’s First Nations people to life. Each character had a life of their own, just exactly how the story is told.

#audible1

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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A hard book to listen to

This one broke my heart and stuck with me for a long time after finishing it. Not an easy book, but very important.

#Audible1

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping and thought provoking

An incredibly gripping story, that is timely and thought provoking. The narration is excellent. Read this one.

#Audible1

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Heartbreaking beautiful.

a heartbreaking fictional story portraying just a small portion or suffering our indigenous population has suffered.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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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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    5 out of 5 stars
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This book destroyed me

What a beautiful, painful, incredible book. This one will haunt me, in no small part because of the incredible quality of the reading.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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A must read for all Canadians

Beautiful tale of intergenerational trauma and healing. It calls out and carefully illustrates racism against Aboriginal people in its many forms, while weaving the threads of separation back through the ties that bind.

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  • Katherine
  • 2018-01-25

beautiful, loving, spiritual, storytelling

I loved this book! The narrator was amazing in capturing so many different characters. Beautiful story that I will not forget

1 of 1 people found this review helpful