Friday, 10 June 2016

First Nations Friday - Birdie by Tracey Lindberg

First Nations Friday is an occasional post where I review works by Canadian Indian, Inuit and Metis authors.

Birdie is one of those people who fell through the cracks even when everything was done right.  It didn't help that she felt she didn't deserve the good that happened in her life.

She is a likable character that I quickly found myself caring for.  I wanted her to succeed.

She had three good women in her camp, as well as her mother and grandmother during  her younger years.  Her aunt Val, her cousin Freda and her employer Lola. They each loved her for their own reasons, yet only Val  understood where Birdie was at and what internal road she was travelling.  It wasn't  a spirit quest, but rather a dream quest.

At the beginning of the book, I couldn't follow what was happening, sort of like the confusion that Birdie was feeling in her life.  Within a few chapters, I was so wrapped up in the telling that I was weeping.  I can't pinpoint one particular reason for the tears, rather it was the accumulation of all she had been going through.  The story wasn't all gloomy by any means. The references to the long running television show  The Beachcombers  brought found memories to mind and made me smile along with Birdie.

I thank author Tracey Lindberg for inviting me into these women's complex lives.  Each of the was on a journey and they needed Birdie to help them move along to their next stage, just as she needed them to care for her physical body while she tended to her spiritual one.  This is a moving debut novel and hints at wonderful literary future for Ms. Lindberg.

Cover image used courtesy HarperCollins Canada.

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