This Town Sleeps

Counterpoint. Mar. 2020. 224p. ISBN 9781640092846. $26. M
DEBUT In small-town Geshig, in northern Minnesota, the center of reservation life for a number of Ojibwe, Marion Lafournier is a young gay man who once planned to leave town, but is drawn back, haunted by the community as are so many of his relatives. He hooks up with white former high school friend Shannon, who won’t admit he’s gay. That relationship draws Marion, as much as the stories of the town. In one, the murder of Kaydan Kelliher, an Ojibwe basketball star, comes alive when Marion discovers a ghost dog, a revenant that contains Kaydan’s soul. This dreamlike debut reveals the memories and stories of Marion, Kaydan, and a number of women with legendary tales of losing the men in their lives. Those generational influences turn women into alcoholics and addicts who abandon their children in a haunted town.
VERDICT With its multiple narrators and stories of ghosts, this debut will find its audience in those searching for #ownvoices authors with an authentic view of reservation life and the tragedies that haunt the communities.

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