This is simply one of the best books of fiction I've read. The writing is lyrical, and the book has elements of mystery and what reads like memoir. The story is told by a core of characters giving the reader an enviable vantage point from which to put the big story in perspective. Trust me, you'll be glad you gave this author and her first novel a try.— From Dana
When Stella, a young M tis 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 M tis 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 literary fiction.