In Search of April Raintree Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
Two young sisters are taken from their home and family. Powerless to change their fortunes, they are separated, and each put into different foster homes. Yet over the years, the bond between them grows. As they each make their way in a society that is, at times, indifferent, hostile, and violent, one embraces her Métis identity, while the other tries to leave it behind. In the end, out of tragedy, comes an unexpected legacy of triumph and reclamation.
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|Listening Length||7 hours and 11 minutes|
|Audible.ca Release Date||July 24 2019|
|Publisher||Bespeak Audio Editions|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #36,111 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals) |
#437 in Native American Studies (Books)
#676 in United States History (Audible Books & Originals)
#1,418 in Social Sciences (Audible Books & Originals)
Top reviews from Canada
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To summarize in brief, this book is a told through the eyes of April, a young Metis girl whose parents are caring but neglectful alcoholics. The story follows April and her sister, Cheryl, as they are taken from their parents and enter the foster care system. Passed from white family to white family, their lives are comfortable at best, hell at the worst; never are they truly at home, rarely do they see their parents. Their experiences differ because they are split up almost immediately. Their difference in experience lead them down divided paths - one of them extremely tragic.
As a teenage white girl, this book shocked and horrified me. Out of all the books I read during that time period, I think this one drew the most empathy and the most lasting reaction. I can still recall the nightmarish rape scene from this book and cringe at the memory. Culleton is an amazing writer. She draws you into the story and the hearts of the characters. Its impossible to put the book down and simply forget about what you've read. I believe Culleton based the book on her own experiences, but I'm not certain. What I do know for a fact is that this book is realistic. I live in this city, I grew up in the neigbourhood written about, and friends of mine work for CFS (Child & Family Services). This book is not an exaggeration and knowing that for a fact when you read it makes for even more of an impact.
The story is dramatic and touching. I reread it a number of times - first the "censored" version and then In Search of April Raintree (uncensored) after my school librarian told me about it. I'm almost tempted to say its not a book for kids, but then I don't think it did me any harm. It woke me up a bit, definitely. I remember sobbing in an armchair after finishing it.
The characters stay with you. Like all well-written books, this one is literally mood-altering. The writing is so well done that you become the main character and feel almost a physical pain over what she endures and suffers. If anything, this book should be read to encourage simple empathy. At best, it could be hoped that it would provide greater understanding and insight into the experiences of many children and over the well... no other word but 'plight' is coming to mind right now, so the 'plight' of many Native/Metis Canadian people.
(I'm sleepy as I write this but I'm hoping my recommendation will hold up. Also, I just checked online and found this: "Although only loosely based on Culleton's own childhood experiences as a foster child, the book is dedicated to her two sisters, who, like Cheryl Raintree, commited suicide as adults.")