A Grandmother Begins the Story

Algonquin. Nov. 2023. 336p. ISBN 9781643755182. $28. F
DEBUT Memoirist, poet, and scholar Porter’s (creative writing and Métis literature, Memorial Univ.; Scratching River) searingly captivating debut novel takes shape around five Métis women on seemingly divergent paths. Told beautifully in each of the women’s voices, as well as from the perspectives of bison, dogs, and the land they inhabit, each woman’s journey comes to intersect with another’s until the story is fully woven. Mamé is in the afterlife but remains tethered to this world until she can settle her ties to her girls left behind. Carter has just been asked by the grandmother she’s never met if she’ll go help kill her, and she thinks she’s agreed. Geneviève decides maybe it’s a good idea to get sober in what are likely her last months to live. Allie tries to hold on to everything so tightly she just might break it all, and she’s the reason Carter didn’t know she was Métis until she was a teenager and never met her Gramma.
VERDICT Highly recommended, especially for fans of stories of generational relations and the connections between women. The tender, tough, funny, and heartbreaking voices of the characters will seep into readers’ souls.
Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing