Sunday, July 7, 2024

Moon of the Turning Leaves; a Sequel

In its prequel,  "The Moon of the Crusted Snow", a Hamilton Reads selection we see the world from a perspective of an indigenous tribe in northern Ontario.  There has been a total power failure and we don't know how extensive it is or what caused it.  The indigenous tribe has been modernized with only bits of their supposed close to nature traditions.  The end of the book leaves us wondering what happens next as there seems to be no change in the power we all take for granted.  See

In this sequel a group of the indigenous have been selected to reach out and find out if there are other  survivors.  They have reverted more to their traditional ways, but are still dependent on modern ways such as guns and mostly still speak English.  

A good part of the story is the trip south.  For awhile they don't meet any outsiders, but eventually they meet a few other tribes and (mostly_ unfortunately meet some Europeans.  We learn a little bit about the outside world, but the extent and cause of the power failure still eludes us.

 One can imagine that in our distant past our ancestors in their struggle to survive were uncertain about other humans who might want to kill us.  A theme is they really don't know what happened.  It is hard for us to imagine who have television and the inter-net to keep us aware of even remote parts of the globe.

What helped me to identify with the story was geographical references.  Part of my sales career was spent in what we call northern Ontario (people in Alberta laugh at that description).  I barely skimmed through indigenous territory, but the narrative involves Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie and Manitoulin Island, places I came to appreciate not quite as I remember but as I can imagine. 

We in a modernizing world that makes life more enjoyable, except there also seems to be more stress.  Trying to make enough money to not just enjoy more, but for some to survive.  The rest of the world is going in different directions while the power brokers seem to ignore climate change.  Being close to nature seems vital that we realize.  Maybe the indigenous have a better perspective, but they also are trying to fit in.  

I enjoyed the book as it was well written and relevant in today's world.  Waubgeshig conveys the dilemma of indigenous who want to modernize, but not forget their traditions.  You would probably enjoy it more if you read the first one.

No comments:

Post a Comment