When Stella, a young M tis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break -- a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house -- she calls the police to alert them to a possible crime.
In a series of shifting narratives, people who are connected, both directly and indirectly, with the victim -- police, family, and friends -- tell their personal stories leading up to that fateful night. Lou, a social worker, grapples with the departure of her live-in boyfriend. Cheryl, an artist, mourns the premature death of her sister Rain. Paulina, a single mother, struggles to trust her new partner. Phoenix, a homeless teenager, is released from a youth detention centre. Officer Scott, a M tis policeman, feels caught between two worlds as he patrols the city. Through their various perspectives a larger, more comprehensive story about lives of the residents in Winnipeg's North End is exposed.
A powerful intergenerational family saga, The Break showcases Vermette's abundant writing talent and positions her as an exciting new voice in literary fiction.
KATHERENA VERMETTE is a Metis writer from Treaty One territory, the heart of the Metis nation, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Her first book, North End Love Songs (The Muses Company) won the Governor General's Literary Award for Poetry. Her National Film Board short documentary, this river, won the Coup de Coeur at the Montreal First Peoples Festival and the 2017 Canadian Screen Award for Best Short. The Break, her first novel, was bestseller in Canada and won the Amazon.ca First Novel Award, the McNally Robinson Book of the Year Award, the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction, and the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award. The Break was also shortlisted for a Governor General's Literary Award, the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize and was a 2017 Canada Reads finalist.Honours for The Break:Winner of the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction 2017 Winner of the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award 2017 Winner of the McNally Robinson Book of the Year 2017 Winner of the Amazon.ca First Novel Award 2017 Short-listed for the Rogers Writers' Trust Fiction Prize 2016 Short-listed for the Governor General's Literary Award 2016 National Post 99 Best Books of the Year CBC Best Canadian Debut Novels 2016 Globe and Mail Best 100 Books of 2016 Quill & Quire Book of the Year Kobo Best Books of the Year Walrus Magazine The Best Books of 2016 49th Shelf Books of the Year