Title- The Removed
Book of the Month Selection
Genre- Literary Fiction, Cherokee culture
POV- At first I was worried that there were 4 alternating point of views. But they were all so drastically different stories that it wasn’t confusing at all.
Trope- Family drama and trauma
Similar Books/Comps– Where the Dead Sit Talking, Of Women and Salt
My emotions- Connected.
Vibe– Haunted, Spiritual
Maria Echota- struggles to maintain her husband
Ernest Echota- suffering from Alzheimer’s
Sonja- leads a life of solitude, punctuated only by spells of dizzying romantic obsession
Edgar, fled home long ago, turning to drugs to mute his feelings of alienation
The youngest, Ray-Ray was killed in a police shooting 15 years ago
With the family’s annual bonfire approaching—an occasion marking both the Cherokee National Holiday and Ray-Ray’s death, and a rare moment in which they openly talk about his memory—Maria attempts to call the family together from their physical and emotional distances once more. But as the bonfire draws near, each of them feels a strange blurring of the boundary between normal life and the spirit world.
Maria and Ernest take in a foster child who seems to almost miraculously keep Ernest’s mental fog at bay. Sonja becomes dangerously fixated on a man with ties to tragedy from her past. And in the wake of a suicide attempt, Edgar finds himself in the mysterious Darkening Land: a place between the living and the dead, where old atrocities echo.
This was way better than I had anticipated. It was also darker than I had expected. The Darkening Land part was my favorite. The ending was satisfying and page 265 even made me cry. Which is rare! The spiritual connection to life, nature & family was very well written.
“He wants to believe in the kindness of strangers, the fierce possibilities of hope, the beauty of color.”
I loved it and flew through this book quickly.