Day 11, here we go! I’m beyond excited that the fabulous and well-read Leah is sharing today. She has a book that I want to immediately go out and grab–her review is fantastic. Enjoy!
Good morning everyone! I’m Leah from The Pretty Good Gatsby and when Katie asked me if I wanted to talk about (okay, more like gush and flail, let’s be real here) a book I love, it was obvious which book I would end up picking.
I read some pretty phenomenal novels last year, but one book in particular stood out for me: Heather Brittain Bergstrom’s Steal the North. This debut (YES, debut!) was something special and, since reading it, I’ve gone on to push it on multiple bloggers, family members, and even a random stranger or two!
First thing’s first: what’s this book about?? Emmy and her mom Kate live in California. Thing’s aren’t the best, but they have each other…until the day Kate gets a call from her sister in Washington, an aunt Emmy never knew existed. When Kate was a teen she fled their tiny town, exiled from their fundamentalist church when it was discovered she was pregnant. Now Beth needs her sister’s help: for years she’s been trying to have a child and after numerous miscarriages, she has one final chance – a healing ceremony where she’ll need Emmy to participate.
Emmy reluctantly (and hesitantly) agrees to spend the summer with her new-found family, both anxious and eager to meet an aunt and uncle she never knew she had. One trailer down from Beth and Matt lives Theresa, her kids, and her younger brother Reuben. Sure, life on the Reservation would provide them with family, but the trailer court provides stability and a life away from violence. With Emmy’s arrival, two families come together and she discovers what being home truly means.
Right, so this doesn’t sound like a story full of rainbows and puppies, does it? You know what? You’re right.
It’s NOT a happy-go-lucky read, but it completely captivated me. Steal the North follows each of these characters (and a few others) and multiple perspectives is the quickest way to get to my heart. Each character is so important, so vital to the story – there isn’t just one main character, there’s a group of them. Bethany’s faith, Kate’s bitterness, Reuben’s desire to hold onto his Native American roots. These characters felt real, their emotions were raw and on full display for all the world to see.
It might be strange to say I felt like I was being punched in the gut while discussing a book I loved, but there you have it.
Steal the North ripped out my heart and stomped all over it. And I’d gladly let it happen all over again.
Wonderful characters, heavy-hitting topics like religion and race (that are handled with care and grace), and one of the strongest plots I’ve come across in a long, long time. Steal the North has become my go-to recommendation and it’s one to revisit over and over again!
I’ve learned to take note of Leah’s recs, and so I’m not even going to question this one. I’m headed to the library to hunt this one down. I’m especially (as you know) keen to read books that engage with religion or spirituality, so that makes this one even more appealing, and it takes place in California–my home state!
Feel free to leave your questions and comments for Leah below. Thanks, Leah, for sharing Steal the North! Stay tuned for another Falling in Love with Books post tomorrow.