Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Reader's Diary #2158 - Katłįà: Land-Water-Sky

I read Catherine Lafferty's memoir Northern Wildflower a couple of years back and despite enjoying it, I was nervous to read her latest, Land-Water-Sky (this time published under her Dene name Katłįà). It was largely because this time around it was a novel and I've discovered before that liking a novelist's nonfiction and vice versa, isn't always a guarantee.

I am happy to report that I enjoyed Land-Water-Sky a great deal. It is an epic tale beginning in the north prior to colonial invasion and moving into the present. There are fascinating, legendary creatures that survive these hundreds of years shifting themselves to navigate the changing world, but hanging on to grudges that predate even the humans. It is when they intertwine their lives with the humans that things really get interesting.

Mixed in with the story are important themes of domestic abuse, Indigenous rights, and so on, but these are worked in seamlessly with the unique story and well-defined characters. One thing I haven't seen pop up in other reviews of this book, surprisingly, is that it's often quite scary! As a horror fan, this was a really pleasant surprise and if Katłįà ever decides to write a full-on horror book, I'll definitely have no qualms about digging into that one immediately!

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