Moon of the Crusted Snow is an exciting novel from Ojibwe journalist Waubgeshig Rice about the end of the world as seen through the eyes of people living on a northern Ontario First Nation. The book offers a unique perspective of the looming apocalypse as the electricity stops along with cell service and food supplies are running low in the local grocery store. Without warning one fall day the community awakes to find small changes to their daily routines. Set on a contemporary reserve the main characters feature Evan Whitesky, his partner Nicole and their two young children. Many community members converge on the band office seeking answers as the chief and council look for answers that do not come. No one knows what has happened down south until two post secondary students return home after fleeing the chaos in urban centres. The people of this tight-knit rez still hunt and trap and many have stored supplies for the coming winter. As the community begins planning for an uncertain future, devastating events occur and a mysterious stranger from an urban centre arrives with unknown plans of his own. The author writes with skill and purpose bringing an understanding of what life is like living in an isolated community. Traditional knowledge is subtlety interwoven in the narrative and dialogue when Elder Eileen offers Evan an understanding of Ojibwe language when it comes to the meaning of apocalypse. This thought-provoking novel is highly recommended and will make an excellent choice for secondary and post secondary Indigenous literature courses.
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