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Monday, October 6, 2014

Review: Legacy by Waubgeshig Rice


Legacy Written By: Waubgeshig Rice
Published By: Theytus Books
Pages: 192

Reviewed By: Christine Smith (McFarlane)

“Legacy” written by Waubgeshig Rice is a bold yet haunting story of what can happen to a family when tragedy hits them too often.  The Gibson family has to deal with an unfortunate accident that takes their parents away from them, and then not long afterwards, the oldest sister Eva Gibson is killed in downtown Toronto.

Eva Gibson, leaves the northern community of Birchbark to become a University student in downtown Toronto. The odds seem stacked against her as she struggles with being one of a only a couple of Anishnaabe students trying to make her way through the education system and city life. She is also in a hurry to finish her education so that she can return home to serve her community.

Tragedy ensues when she lets her guard down one night and goes with friends to a local bar. She meets a young man while intoxicated and he ultimately kills her when they leave the bar together, and he brings her into a dark alley to try and take advantage of her.

The death of Eva brings on a string of troubles for the surviving members of her family.  Her brothers and sister already struggling with how to deal with the loss of their parents, are met with more tragedy when they learn of their sister’s untimely death. Some turn to ceremony and some turn to alcohol, but each member is haunted by a creeping sentiment of revenge when it comes to the absolution of their sister’s death and her killer.

Legacy boldly looks at the truths and stereotypes that First Nations peoples often face in their struggle to leave the reservation and move to the big city. The truths can be uncomfortable and make you cringe but it is these truths that Rice speaks of that must be addressed and talked about.

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