A daring post-apocalyptic novel from a powerful rising literary voice With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community goes dark. Cut off, people become passive and confused. Panic builds as the food supply dwindles.
While the band council and a pocket of community members struggle to maintain order, an unexpected visitor arrives, escaping the crumbling society to the south. Soon after, others follow. The community leadership loses its grip on power as the visitors manipulate the tired and hungry to take control of the reserve.
Tensions rise and, as the months pass, so does the death toll due to sickness and despair. Frustrated by the building chaos, a group of young friends and their families turn to the land and Anishinaabe tradition in hopes of helping their community thrive again. Guided through the chaos by an unlikely leader named Evan Whitesky, they endeavor to restore order while grappling with a grave decision. Blending action and allegory, Moon of the Crusted Snow upends our expectations. Out of catastrophe comes resilience. And as one society collapses, another is reborn.
Simple but very powerful writing where the atmospheric setting of the book really helped place the reader in the isolated, apocalyptic landscape of Northern Ontario as power and communication systems cease to work. I was really captivated by this book. It's thrilling, but in a low-key, unnerving way. The characters and life on the reservation really take center-stage in a story where not a lot happens. There is a villain in the story; he is quietly menacing and you just know things will come to a head by the end of the book. I will say that the end of the book felt slightly anticlimactic after the build, but at the same time, it was understated perfection. I haven't totally decided how I feel about it, which is why this is just 0.25 stars less than perfect. I was really glad to hear that Rice is working on a sequel to this book, because even though it wasn't a cliffhanger, the story did leave me wanting more!
Moon of the Crusted Snow is harrowingly chilling story of a Anishinaabe community that finds itself completely gone dark. We follow Evan as he navigates the growing needs of his community and his family as reports of a decimated society drift in as well as some unexpected visitors.
This beautiful book was published in 2018 by Waubgeshig Rice. Now, as we progress through this pandemic it hits hard and it’s impossible to not be pulled in. This story is a cautionary tale of losing cultural practices, traditions, and cultural identity. If you don’t stop during or at the end and find yourself soaking in the atmosphere and warnings to unpack the teachings within this story then I don’t know you