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Amanda Peters

Autor(a) de The Berry Pickers

2 Works 291 Membros 12 Críticas

Obras por Amanda Peters

The Berry Pickers (2023) 289 exemplares
The Berry Pickers A Novel (2023) 2 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Data de nascimento
20th century



The Berry Pickers
Amanda Peters debut novel takes place in her home area of Nova Scotia where she was raised a a member of the Glooscap First Nation. She sets up this story in dueling chapters written by the two main characters reminiscing about their life. We find out early on that in 1962, the Mi'kmaq family who go to Maine to pick blueberries suffer the loss of their youngest daughter Ruthie. The four year old suddenly disappears. After getting no help from the local police, the indigenous people in the area continue searching but no body is found. Since no body is found, her mother never stops believing she is still alive. Joe, her brother, feels responsible for losing her. A chapter later we are introduced to Norma, who has recurring dreams of another family and lives a strange sheltered life of never leaving home. It is not a spoiler to reveal that she has been kidnapped by a loving but unstable woman who has suffered too many miscarriages and feels like this child would be better with her. So the plot progresses as the two children relate the story of their lives for the next five decades. They are not good lives. Joe's character is deeply flawed as his anger and drinking condemn him to a lonely existence, where he feels everyone would be better without him. Norma grows up sheltered and can't quite escape the ghosts of her past even when a good man marries her.
I enjoyed learning a bit about the Mi'kmaq people and their migratory life of labor and wish their lives were explained a bit more. The plot was interesting enough to propel my reading but the prologue kind of takes the mystery out.

When we arrived from Nova Scotia, midsummer, a caravan of dark-skinned workers, laughing and singing, travelling through their overgrown and rusting world, the local folks turned their backs, our presence a testament to their failure to prosper.

The dreams were a mystery to me until Mother’s mind started to fail her, and those things stored in the deep dark of her conscience leapt out and started to flail about like fish on the lakeshore.

I’m fifty-six years old and I stay alive because my eighty-seven-year-old mother tells me she can’t watch another child die.

I lived my entire childhood in the shadow of infant ghosts. Their memory haunted my mother, and she carried them around with her, constantly tripping over their absence and blaming me for the fall.

my dreams had faded, like a watercolour left in the sunlight.

When I woke, my mouth dry and my head ringing with the bells of Chianti,

A smarter man would have seen that I was ruining the best thing in my life. But I can state, with full confidence, that I am not that clever.

Those cracks that I had been hammering into my life and into my marriage had become an earthquake of my own making, one too destructive for me to repair.

Desire in the dying is a cruel trick.
… (mais)
novelcommentary | 11 outras críticas | Feb 10, 2024 |
This debut author tells a story like she lived it. Although I relly liked it, sometimes the flow between storytellers and time stumbled.
EllenH | 11 outras críticas | Feb 9, 2024 |
Reason Read - WCBC
This is a debut novel written by a mixed-race woman of Mi'kmaq and European ancestry, born and raised in the Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia. It is set in Maine and Nova Scotia and is the tale of a Mi'kmaq family who comes to Maine to pick berries and one year their four year old daughter goes missing. It is told from the point of view of one son and from the daughter who is missing. There is much to appreciate in the book; Indigenous peoples, Canadian, the setting, but it felt at times that it did not flow well. The book explores memories, trauma, and forgiveness.… (mais)
Kristelh | 11 outras críticas | Feb 2, 2024 |
The premise of this story was really promising. However I found the characters to be flat and the writing uninspired. At times I wondered if this book would be better classified at YA, or if the author is herself a bit young and inexperienced for the topic.
tangledthread | 11 outras críticas | Jan 13, 2024 |





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