Monday, March 26, 2018

Heart Berries by Therese Marie Mailhot- Book Review

I became aware of this book because of an article about new Native American authors on the rise. The book was then picked for several celebrity book clubs. It has gotten a lot of buzz. The question is- is it worth it? In short, absolutely!

If you have never read a Native memoir or book, you should know going in that they are often difficult reads because they explore the deep and tough aspects of life. Mailhot’s book is exactly this. She explores her life and her upbringing. She looks at her dual diagnosis of PTSD and bi-polar. She explores her relationship with her father who was a drunk, abusive, and who was murdered and her mother who was an advocate for prisoners and a social worker.

While this is not a “happy” read, it is an incredible read. Her writing is poetic at times and just draws the reader in. She has an incredible voice, even in the midst of all that is surrounding her in this narrative.

This is what is incredible in Native writing, the struggle is always worth exploring because it is a deep part of life. Trials build the person, but they are never easy to go through. Going through them shows the strength of the person.

There is one thing to note for those that may get a icky feeling, Sherman Alexie is a part of this book besides the Introduction. This was published just before the information about Alexie came out and of course there has been a big backlash regarding his behavior. He is part of her story and he shows up in the memoir. Just be ready for that.

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