Tuesday, November 20, 2018

"The Marrow Thieves" by Cherie Dimaline

Mel recently wrote about the importance of diversity in our reading. One thing about book clubs, whether online or "real life," is that you sometimes find yourself exposed to reading books/authors and topics you might never have otherwise considered.

"The Marrow Thieves" by Cherie Dimaline is one of those books. I doubt I would have picked it up on my own -- but a Facebook reading group I follow recently picked it as the first selection in what we hope will become a monthly book club feature, and I decided I'd pick up a copy so that I could take part in the upcoming discussion.

"The Marrow Thieves" is young adult fiction. It's a dystopian/survivalist novel, which reminded me at times of "Never Let Me Go" and "The Hunger Games" and every book I've ever read about the Holocaust. It's also a novel by a Canadian author of Metis descent, set here in Ontario. It was published last year (2017), and has won several awards and recognition, including a Kirkus Prize and a Governor-General's Literary Award. Earlier this year, it was a selection in CBC Radio's Canada Reads program.

The plot:  Some years in the future, global warming and catastrophic climate change have wreaked havoc on the planet.  Amid the chaos, people have lost the ability to dream -- except for Indigenous peoples.  The secrets of dreaming are believed to lie in their bone marrow -- and because of that, they are being hunted down and imprisoned in "schools" -- ominous echoes of the residential schools of the 19th & 20th centuries -- where their marrow is extracted. In order to survive, the dreamers flee north, learning once again to live off the land and scavenging supplies from abandoned resorts and cottages they find along the way. The story is told from the perspective of 15-year-old Francis (Frenchie). Besides the dystopian stuff, it's about growing up, about the families we're born into and the ones we create for ourselves.

 As I said, I likely wouldn't have picked up this book on my own. I have read and enjoyed some dystopian fiction, but hiding out in the bush, etc., "survivor" style, is not exactly my "thing," and overall, it was kind of a dark story -- although there are glimmers of hope along the way, particularly near the end. The premise was interesting, and the characters were well drawn.

I rated it three stars on Goodreads.

This was book #24 that I've read so far in 2018 -- meaning I have reached my 2018 Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 24 books!  (Yay me!! :)  )  Any other books I read between now & Dec. 31st will be a bonus. ;) 

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on reaching your book target! This sounds interesting. That's what I like about bookclubs. Other people pick books I wouldn't necessarily choose myself, and that can be wonderful.