Historical Fiction

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Black Apple (PB)
Author: Joan Crate
Format: Paperback
  • A dramatic and lyrical coming-of-age novel about a young Blackfoot girl who grows up in the residential school system on the Canadian prairies.

    Torn from her home and delivered to St. Mark’s Residential School for Girls by government decree, young Rose Marie finds herself in an alien universe where nothing of her previous life is tolerated, not even her Blackfoot name. For she has entered into the world of the Sisters of Brotherly Love, an order of nuns dedicated to saving the Indigenous children from damnation. Life under the sharp eye of Mother Grace, the Mother General, becomes an endless series of torments, from daily recitations and obligations to chronic sickness and inedible food. And then there are the beatings. All the feisty Rose Marie wants to do is escape from St. Mark’s. How her imagination soars as she dreams about her lost family on the Reserve, finding in her visions a healing spirit that touches her heart. But all too soon she starts to see other shapes in her dreams as well, shapes that warn her of unspoken dangers and mysteries that threaten to engulf her. And she has seen the rows of plain wooden crosses behind the school, reminding her that many students have never left here alive.

    Set during the Second World War and the 1950s, Black Apple is an unforgettable, vividly rendered novel about two very different women whose worlds collide: an irrepressible young Blackfoot girl whose spirit cannot be destroyed, and an aging yet powerful nun who increasingly doubts the value of her life. It captures brilliantly the strange mix of cruelty and compassion in the residential schools, where young children are forbidden to speak their own languages and given Christian names. As Rose Marie matures, she finds increasingly that she knows only the life of the nuns, with its piety, hard work and self-denial. Why is it, then, that she is haunted by secret visions—of past crimes in the school that terrify her, of her dead mother, of the Indigenous life on the plains that has long vanished? Even the kind-hearted Sister Cilla is unable to calm her fears. And then, there is a miracle, or so Mother Grace says. Now Rose is thrust back into the outside world with only her wits to save her.

    With a poet’s eye, Joan Crate creates brilliantly the many shadings of this heartbreaking novel, rendering perfectly the inner voices of Rose Marie and Mother Grace, and exploring the larger themes of belief and belonging, of faith and forgiveness.

$19.99

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The Frog Lake Massacre
Author: Bill Gallaher
Format: Paperback
  • In the spring of 1884, Jack, an adventurous young man, packs his bags in Victoria, BC, and heads for the prairies, looking for a new life and hoping to get involved in an Indian war. Instead, he lucks into an exciting job in the fur trade and meets and befriends many of the great chiefs of the Cree nation, such as Poundmaker and Big Bear, and ends up between a bullet and a target when the North-West Rebellion erupts. After witnessing the historic Frog Lake Massacre and the murder of his friends, Jack is captured by the Cree warriors and, later, guides the famous Inspector Sam Steele on the hunt for Cree Chief Big Bear.

    The Frog Lake Massacre is the first book in a trilogy about a young man who is trying to forge an independent life for himself in the huge and newly established country of Canada. Along the way, he discovers that bravery and loyalty bring their own rewards.

$18.95

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Waterlily
Traditional Territory: Sioux
Format: Paperback
  • When Blue Bird and her grandmother leave their family’s camp to gather beans for the long, threatening winter, they inadvertently avoid the horrible fate that befalls the rest of the family. Luckily, the two women are adopted by a nearby Dakota community and are eventually integrated into their kinship circles. Ella Cara Deloria’s tale follows Blue Bird and her daughter, Waterlily, through the intricate kinship practices that created unity among her people.

    Waterlily, published after Deloria’s death and generally viewed as the masterpiece of her career, offers a captivating glimpse into the daily life of the nineteenth-century Sioux. This new edition features an introduction by Susan Gardner and an index.

$23.95

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