The Break by Katherena Vermette

I work at a library, and I was checking books in when The Break caught my eye. I quickly skimmed the back cover, and placed it on hold. A few weeks later, I found out that The Break would be featured as a contestant on CBC’s Canada Reads, for which the question was “What is the one book Canadians need now?”. I became even more intrigued.

I must admit that I have not read the other four books presented in the show, however, I do believe that The Break is a book Canadians need to read. Why do Canadians need this book? Because, as Canadians, we need to hear each other’s perspectives, and each other’s voices. For our country to thrive, we need to know what issues other Canadians are facing. In this book, we hear the voices of indigenous women. I don’t think these important perspectives are portrayed enough in the media.

Candy Palmater defended The Break on Canada Reads. She said she has met many women who have told her they feel The Break tells their story, or the story of someone close to them. I want to learn more about the stories and the realities of my fellow Canadians. We are often caught up in being aware of the issues of the world- so very important- but sometimes we forget to be aware of the issues in our own neighbourhoods, our own cities, our own country. How can we raise concerns in our communities, how can we solve challenges faced my members of our society if we are oblivious to them?

In the news, we don’t hear enough perspectives, and we certainly hardly ever get the full story. Books such as The Break enlighten on the challenges and frustrations that are faced by other Canadians, and these are the books Canadians need. The more voices, and the people who are represented in widely read literature- the better.