Son of a Trickster

(Trickster #1)

by Eden Robinson

4.5 stars, actually.

This is a tricky, tricky book. On the one hand- tons of realistic, heart-wrenching depictions of generational abuse, drug use, alcoholism, and truly unhealthy relationships. On the other hand, real and raw depiction of First Nations folks on and off the rez in Canada. On the other hand, (yes there are more than 2 hands) some psychedelic is-it-true-or-just-drugs magical realism from the wellspring of Heiltsuk and Haisla culture. On the other hand, I just want to pick up jared and shake him by the neck he’s so frustratingly passive.

But then again, I wasn’t beaten down like he was. So from my privileged, middle class perch upon the shoulders of society maybe i have no right to be so horrified by the ways in which Jared is forced to care for his parents while stifling his own small, basic dream of living a life in a house where the electricity isn’t going to be shut off if he doesn’t make and sell pot cookies to make bank.

It’s just super-painful to watch.

Jared is in high school, and he exists on the fringe of popular jock society as the “cookie guy”. He also is paying for his father’s rent, trying to keep his mom’s house in order, and himself out of trouble. He takes care of the neighbor as well, and when the neighbor’s grand daughter moves in, starts hanging out with her (she has her own troubles).

Mostly the book is Jared going from house to house, trying to not get beat up, taking care of folks. But little by little he starts experiencing strange things, an insistent inner voice, talking fireflies, etc. that start him on the path to questioning his own heritage.

This is the first book in a series and it ends quiet abruptly just as the magic stuff starts going. I’m expecting a very different second book.