As Long as the Rivers Flow

As Long as the Rivers Flow

Book - 2011
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From the accomplished memoirist and former Lieutenant-Governor of Ontario comes a first novel of incredible heart and spirit for every Canadian.

The novel follows one girl, Martha, from the Cat Lake First Nation in Northern Ontario who is "stolen" from her family at the age of six and flown far away to residential school. She doesn't speak English but is punished for speaking her native language; most terrifying and bewildering, she is also "fed" to the school's attendant priest with an attraction to little girls.

Ten long years later, Martha finds her way home again, barely able to speak her native tongue. The memories of abuse at the residential school are so strong that she tries to drown her feelings in drink, and when she gives birth to her beloved son, Spider, he is taken away by Children's Aid to Toronto. In time, she has a baby girl, Raven, whom she decides to leave in the care of her mother while she braves the bewildering strangeness of the big city to find her son and bring him home.

From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: Toronto : Vintage Canada, 2011.
Edition: Vintage Canada edition.
ISBN: 9780307398758
Branch Call Number: BAR
Characteristics: xiii, 250 pages : 1 map ; 21 cm


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LifefilledNights May 30, 2012

a really good book. at first i wasn't too excited to read it, but when i started, i couldn't put it down. Recommended.

Aug 19, 2011

For anyone who likes to learn history through fiction, this is a fantastic place to start to learn about the Canadian residential school catastrophe, and how it shapes the following generations.

I found it to be a good jumping off point to learn more, and from the first page, a smooth read that covers difficult topics.

You can listen to the author's talk with Sheilagh Rogers on The Next Chapter podcast from last season. This is how I picked it up.

Jul 17, 2011

This is an excellent book. It should be added to the high school curriculum.

debwalker Feb 24, 2011

Heard James Bartleman reading from As Long as the Rivers Flow at Harbourfront last night. Very moving on the tragedy of teen suicide in Ontario's First Nations communities.

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LifefilledNights May 30, 2012

LifefilledNights thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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