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Moon of the crusted snow : a novel
2018
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Summary
<p> A daring post-apocalyptic novel from a powerful rising literary voice </p> <p>With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community goes dark. Cut off, people become passive and confused. Panic builds as the food supply dwindles. While the band council and a pocket of community members struggle to maintain order, an unexpected visitor arrives, escaping the crumbling society to the south. Soon after, others follow.</p> <p>The community leadearship loses its grip on power as the visitors manipulate the tired and hungry to take control of the reserve. Tensions rise and, as the months pass, so does the death toll due to sickness and despair. Frustrated by the building chaos, a group of young friends and their families turn to the land and Anishinaabe tradition in hopes of helping their community thrive again. Guided through the chaos by an unlikely leader named Evan Whitesky, they endeavor to restore order while grappling with a grave decision.</p> <p>Blending action and allegory, Moon of the Crusted Snow upends our expectations. Out of catastrophe comes resilience. And as one society collapses, another is reborn.</p>
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  Booklist Review

Power outages are a normal occurrence on the reservation of an Anishinaabe community in northern Ontario, but an unusually extended lack of outside communications or food deliveries causes fear and panic among the residents. Evan Whitesky, a young husband and father, helps fortify the town for the looming winter by looking to the old ways of their tribe: hunting, communal support, and offerings to the spirits. Rice's sophomore effort (after Legacy, 2014) is an atmospheric drama that includes some standard apocalyptic tropes like the loss of contact and the threat of outsiders but it's the cohesion of community among this indigenous culture and the positive influences of family and tradition that shine in the story. Rice seamlessly injects Anishinaabe language into the dialogue and creates a beautiful rendering of the natural world. Although more deliberate than most end-of-the-world thrillers, the story builds in tension and violence as the days get colder and the supplies dwindle. This title will appeal to fans of literary science fiction akin to Cormac McCarthy as well as to readers looking for a fresh voice in indigenous fiction.--Craig Clark Copyright 2018 Booklist
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