A debut novel from an award winning poet, already a best seller and award winner (including the Margaret Laurence Award for Fiction) in Canada, The Break tells the story of four generations of Metis women, one of whom, a teen, has suffered a brutal assault. The story is told from multiple points of view, and what starts out feeling like a police procedural become a vivid portrayal of a family and a community, without ever losing its page-turner momentum.— Kathy
When Stella, a young M tis mother, looks out her window one evening and spots someone in trouble on the Break -- a barren field on an isolated strip of land outside her house -- she calls the police to alert them to a possible crime.
In a series of shifting narratives, people who are connected, both directly and indirectly, with the victim -- police, family, and friends -- tell their personal stories leading up to that fateful night. Lou, a social worker, grapples with the departure of her live-in boyfriend. Cheryl, an artist, mourns the premature death of her sister Rain. Paulina, a single mother, struggles to trust her new partner. Phoenix, a homeless teenager, is released from a youth detention centre. Officer Scott, a M tis policeman, feels caught between two worlds as he patrols the city. Through their various perspectives a larger, more comprehensive story about lives of the residents in Winnipeg's North End is exposed.
A powerful intergenerational family saga, The Break showcases Vermette's abundant writing talent and positions her as an exciting new voice in literary fiction.