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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  

2016 Governor General's Literary Award Finalist  

2016 Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize Finalist

A stunning and multiple prize-winning first novel by a First Nations Canadian writer who is being acclaimed around the world.  

Stella, a young Metis mother, lives with her family by the Break, an isolated strip of land on the edge of their small Canadian town. Glancing out of her window one winter's evening, Stella spots someone in trouble; horrified, she calls the police. But when they arrive, no one is there, scuff marks in the compacted snow the only sign anything may have happened.  

What follows is a heartbreaking and powerful tale of a community in crisis as the people connected to the victim, a young girl on the edge of a precipice, begin to lay bare their stories leading up to that fateful night. Lou is a social worker grappling with the end of a relationship. Cheryl, an artist, mourns the premature death of her sister. Phoenix, a homeless teenager, is released from a youth detention centre with no one to turn to. Officer Scott is a Metis policeman caught between two worlds.   

A powerful family saga, Katherena Vermette's urgent, acclaimed and multi-award-winning novel shines a light on the fear every woman carries within her - fear of male power and violence - and on the love and empathy shared by all women. 

©2016 Katherena Vermette (P)2017 Anansi Audio

What listeners say about The Break

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  • susan
  • 02-22-19

Strong storytelling

Evocative and engaging tale, highlighting the cultural challenges faced by first nation women in today's Canada. Beautifully narrated in each of the various characters. Loved every minute of it, even when saddened and horrified by the situations portrayed.

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  • Helen
  • 09-26-20

Exceptional read

A harrowing, heartbreaking and emotional read, that will stay with me for years to come.

This beautifully written book is told from the perspectives of several different Metis women, living in Winnipeg's unprivileged North End, and the devastation left behind following tragedy.

This was a hard hitting read, but it is also a powerful testament to the perserverance of the women, in the face of racism, sexism, abuse and rape.

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  • Kath Walters
  • 12-27-20

Astonishing

The performance of this book is superb. She brings each of the marvellous characters in this tense drama alive. Don’t miss this book