Crow Mary

Atria. Jun. 2023. 368p. ISBN 9781476748474. $28.99. F
Grissom’s (The Kitchen House) new novel highlights the true-life story of a remarkable woman who straddled two differing cultures during a pivotal and horrifying time for Indigenous peoples across North America. At 16, Goes First of the Crow Nation marries a white fur trader, Abe Farwell, who calls her Crow Mary. Known for being fair and honest with his Indigenous customers, Abe has his sights on a trading fort in the Cypress Hills of Canada. While the season goes well, the end brings tragedy when Abe and Crow Mary witness the slaughter of 40 Nakota people. When Crow Mary sees the murderers abduct five women, she sets off alone to save them, triggering events that will bring heartache and personal triumph. It is a bittersweet tale based around the true story of Crow Mary and the battles she fought individually for herself and both sides of her family. Readers will be drawn to Crow Mary, and Grissom treats her subject matter with the respect and cultural sensitivity she deserves.
VERDICT Filled with beautifully written natural scenes and unforgettable characters, this is a novel that will span age and genre appeals alike.
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