‘April Raintree’ – Beatrice Culleton Mosionier

April Raintree

 

A revised version of the novel In Search of April Raintree, written specifically for students in grades 9 through 12. Through her characterization of two young sisters who are removed from their family, the author poignantly illustrates the difficulties that many Aboriginal people face in maintaining a positive self-identity.

I knew nothing of this story before I received a digital copy from NetGalley.

This is a fictionalised exploration of some of the issues faced by the writer, her family and other Aboriginal people.

Perhaps this will have more resonance with readers who are aware of the Métis people, but I was fascinated by this story. We see the two sisters taken into foster care and, in their own way, dealing with prejudice and fear. April gets married and spends a lot of her life avoiding her cultural background. Her sister, who spent her younger years proudly announcing her heritage, becomes trapped by a lot of her own prejudices and fears.

Certain scenes within this novel were unflinching in their honesty and violence, yet they are vital for readers to gain any sense of understanding. This novel raises so many points for discussion and was an absorbing read. I think I will have to try and track down the original version.