When Ojibwe woman surrenders her two young daughters Azure and Rain, ages 3 and 4, to the county, the girls are sent into a brutal foster care system—until, years later, members of their reservation find and bring them back, nurturing them in their mother's absence.
Told with vibrancy by an Ojibwe professor and poet, this own voices story of Ojibwe girls in a situation only too common for indigenous families shouldn't be missed. Recommended for readers seeking contemporary takes on indigenous life and those who enjoy family sagas containing hope and beauty alongside sadness.
Humorous scenes offset the rigors of [the characters'] experiences ... In the Night of Memory is character driven and lyrical. Its vast, distinct chorus of matrilineal American Indian voices ring in melancholic yet dauntless tones, clarifying that community and nurturing can ameliorate absence. Azure and Rain, who are in their thirties when the book concludes, are doing their best with what their history has allotted them.
The first half of Grover’s multigenerational story follows the girls from one loveless foster home to another as they struggle to remember their mother. The larger story is that of the reservation ... The tragic legacy of Indian boarding schools, including Rainy’s fetal alcohol syndrome, hovers over Grover’s sad but ultimately uplifting tale.