ᓂᑲᐃᐧᕀ Drank herself gone

“Wanda John-Kehewin (at left) uses words in both Cree and English to find her righteous anger and fight colonial oppression in her latest collection of poetry. Reviewed here by Carellin Brooks.FULL STORY



Abuse trauma in verse

November 06th, 2022

In a slim novel told in verse for young readers 12+, Sara Cassidy’s Union (Orca $14.95) is the story of a teenage boy dealing with sexual abuse trauma. Tuck’s abuser is his mother’s ex-boyfriend. When someone calls the boyfriend Tuck’s ‘father’ he blows up: “Not my dad, I snarl // Right/your mom’s fling/that stayed/do you miss him?” Tuck self-harms as a way to deal with his inner pain: “I pour hot tea/on my wrist // to feel // relief // that will leave/a scar.” Tuck’s courage is evident when he organizes employees to join a union to improve working conditions at the fast-food outlet where he works. He also starts a romance with a childhood friend although conflicted by the shame he secretly carries: “if she loves me/she has to know me/but if she knows me/how can she love me.” Without using direct language, Cassidy depicts the damage done by abusive adults but also the healing offered by others – from compassionate friends and work colleagues to professional caregivers. 9781459834477

Photo by Katrina Rain.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • About Us

    BC BookLook is an independent website dedicated to continuously promoting the literary culture of British Columbia.