Son of a Trickster is one of the five books on CBC Canada Reads 2020 short list. This year, I am trying to read all five short listed books before the debates in March. I started with Son of a Trickster, my first Eden Robinson book.
From page one, the reader is dropped into Jared's world with language that is jolting, nasty, and filthy. Jared is a high school kid that lives with his mother in Kitimat, B.C. He drinks, smokes, and uses drugs, his specialty - making pot cookies. He also has an incredible capacity for compassion and empathy. Like most teenagers, he is trying to figure out who he is, how he fits into this world, and where he belongs. This is challenging as he begins to realize that he also has supernatural awareness and it's not just a trip from the drugs. Jared's home life is horrible. His mother is someone I both rooted for, especially when it came to her nail gun skills, and was appalled by. And Gran, well, I will just say that I would like to learn more about Gran.
What some might call magical realism that exists in the novel gives it a Stephen King flavour. There are some great lines and humour is used in clever ways. Ultimately, the story is a wee'git story. Robinson is a member of the Haisla and Heitsuk First Nations. A wee'git is a raven that can transform itself. She uses the tradition of wee'git to tell this story, staying true to her culture and also allowing us, as readers, to learn from it. There is still more to the story, as this is the first of a trilogy so to find out what happens with Jared, I may be reading Trickster Drift soon.
Eden Robinson is a gifted writer. I am now weary of river otters and might never be able to get certain images out of my mind. I imagine her to be quite delightful, if only from her author bios which are comical and entertaining. I will definitely be checking out her other novels. Monkey Beach which was long listed for Canada Reads in 2015 awaits on my TBR pile.
Good luck to Eden Robinson with Canada Reads 2020.
Bookworm Rating: 🐛🐛🐛