In the Night of Memory

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 26 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

First off, I would like to thank University of Minnesota Press and NetGalley for providing an e-ARC of this book for me, however, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

After Loretta surrenders her two young girls to the foster care system and then disappears, she becomes just another missing Native woman. The two girls have a hellish time in the foster care system, but are eventually returned to their family on the Mozhay Point Reservation in Northern Minnesota. The two girls struggle to find normalcy, but the women of the reservation are there to lean on. This chorus of women's voices tell the girls stories of love and strife, broken childhoods, depression and PTSD, struggles with alcohol, domestic abuse, and divorce. Grover lays bare the suffering of indigenous women and children while simultaneously cultivating a ray of hope. 

I wish I had liked this novel more. I feel that it is important to recognize the issues that the foster care system has in the United States, but also to acknowledge the systematic racism that has plagued the indigenous Americans since Europeans first set foot on the continents. If these types of grievous offenses are not acknowledged then it is hard for the system to change and change is really what is needed. I feel that this is an important book to read, but also this book wasn't for me.

The writing for this book was beautiful, descriptive and emotive. It flowed throughout the book in a way that would have kept me reading had the story not suffered from it's mode of telling. It was told in clips and snippets by the various women of the Mozhay Reservation. However, it was hard to keep track of who was who and the family tree in the Kindle version wasn't very clear. That made it feel like I was listening to an elderly family member talk about people that I didn't know or had never met. It was hard to stay invested in the story or the characters because of that. 

Overall, I would recommend this for those looking to expand their reading of Native American experiences. Those that like stories where women support each other through rough times would also enjoy this. Readers who love interwoven stories from multiple POVs would probably also enjoy this quite a bit. As I said, it is important for books like this to be acknowledged and widely read, because without narratives like this one it is easy for people to forget the past and decide not to help change the future.
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Ever since visiting The Heard Museum a few months ago and learning so many interesting facts about the Native American people and their history, I’ve been hungry to read more books centered around them and their culture.
This was such a moving story, and I really enjoyed the deep connection between the sisters, the relationship with the relatives who take them in, and reading more about Native American customs and the importance of family in their culture. Recommend.
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Linda LeGarde Grover presents us with a new generation of Gallette girls in this new family drama, At once sad, humorous, hopeful, and heartfelt, this book had me hooked from beginning to end. The voice of Azure is dynamic and believable; strong yet fallible women characters will make this candid story of family relationships appeal to many readers. Those who enjoyed Future Home of the Living God or Bastard Out of Carolina would enjoy this one.
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My feelings about In the Memory of Night are complicated. It wasn't a bad book, but was incredibly depressing and heavy. After I finished the novel it sent me into a bit of a book slump...
In the Memory of Night follows Azure and Rain, the two daughters of a native American woman named Loretta who goes missing one night. Azure and Rain are passed from foster home to foster home before they are taken in by the reservation their mother was a part of. Reading about Azure and Rain in the foster care system was hard. I appreciated that this novel has helped me understand more about how the fostering systems works. And that's why it was so hard to read about Azure and Rain's struggles, because of how realistic it was. For the entire novel, I just wanted them to be happy, but bad thing after bad thing happens and gets in the way of that happiness.

It was really interesting to learn more about native American customs. Throughout the novel, Azure and Rain are learning about their cultural and through that, their mother. Interactions with the members of the reservation help the girls slowly piece together their mother's life to try to understand what happened to her.
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This is a very emotional story.  There is so much honesty in how the characters are portrayed. So much detail, about the lives of these two girls who are surrendered at a young age by their unfit mother to the county foster care system.  The story follows Rainy and Azure as they make their way through the system and to adulthood without ever seeing their mother again, or knowing her fate. It breaks your heart at times, but as bitter life can be we are reminded also how sweet, as they are taken in by extended family members they don’t recall from their previous life.  The book gives the reader an idea of how strong family ties are, and how important family and tradition is in the Native American culture.  I can’t say enough about how good this book was.
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This was a hard book for me to read. While parts of it were very enjoyable and hard to stop reading, other parts were just boring to me. I found myself skimming past a lot of this story. The story of two young children being given into foster care by their mother was heartbreaking but also the best for the two baby girls. With the exception of some abuse that was barely touched on, when the girls were finally back with their people, their story was touching and very sad in parts. 

It never tells what happened to the mother and the ending was very abrupt. I was expecting something to happen and it just ended. Maybe I missed something in previous books? It seems there were more books about this Indian tribe that may have made this book better. I have no idea. While I did enjoy parts of this book, overall it was just not my kind of story. The beginning was good, then it went into the many many lives of an Indian tribe and I got completely lost. I never get lost that way in a book. Then it goes back to the story of these two children and what they went through in foster care. I was so disappointed. I had thought this was going to be such a good book.

I am not saying don’t read it. It may be the perfect book for others but for me I didn’t care for all the details that were confusing to me and the foreign language that I had no idea what the words meant. I was lost. I do not like leaving a review like this. I honestly don’t. I love reading books that wow me. This one didn’t do that.

It’s only a 3 star book and that is the part of the two sweet little girls. The rest I just could not get into.

I won a copy of this book via Bookishfirst and via NetGalley and University of Minnesota Press in exchange for my honest review.
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This story follows the trajectory of two sisters, Rain and Azure, who were placed in foster care when their mother makes the decision to get clean. However, they never see their mother again. Following the passage of the Indian Child Welfare Act, the two sisters were sent to live with family. I enjoyed the story of Rain and Azure. It was in many ways heartbreaking, but worth the read. Thank you to University of Minnesota Press and NetGalley for the advanced readers copy in exchange for an honest review.
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A character study and a very, very brief glimpse into the plight of the thousands of First Nations/Native women that have gone missing over the decades. Rainy and Azure are sisters that were taken from their Native American mother at the ages of 3 and 4 and placed in Foster care. Their mother had substance abuse problems and disappeared as the girls were shuffled from one home to another until they were around 13/14. They suffered from at the very least neglect, and in one home some physical abuse, but much of their story is glossed over in those early years. Thanks to the Indian Child Welfare Act, relatives are able to locate and bring them back home, but their lives are never really easy. Eventually, Rainy suffers and is diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and early onset dementia, and Azure, the younger sisters pretty much spends her life caring for her. Money is always tight, one medical disaster could set them back and make them homeless and life is just one paycheck to the next. But they have family, and they have community. That community eventually comes together to take care of the house that Rainy and Azure are living in, and end up making a girl's home for Rainy that Azure helps run.

The book is a pretty slow burn. It took some fortitude to get through because the story of these girl's is a painful one, but it's one that needs to be told. I'd love to read more stories like this, and ones that focus on the plight of the missing indigenous women that true crime is just now coming around to shine a light on. This was a sad story, but one that ultimately had heart, and a sense of family and love.
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I have been on a mission to read books outside my culture and experience. And after reading There There by Tommy Orange, I have been on the lookout for more books about native culture written by native Americans. So when I saw In the Night of Memory by Linda LeGarde Grover, I knew I had to pick it up. Growing up in Minnesota and spending a lot of time in northern Minnesota, I could imagine many of these scenes, which added to my experience of the book. This was enjoyable read. The author particularly shines when describing elements of native culture. Prior to reading this book, I was unaware of the Indian Child Welfare Act. I could see how powerful this act was for native children placed in non native homes, to be returned to their families and culture. This both gave me a lot to think about. If you are interested in learning about other cultures, I recommend this book. 

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review this book
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I liked this story of Azure & Rainy. I felt so sad for Azure that she felt the burden of responsibility from such a young age, especially because she was the younger sister. 

I don’t know much about the lost generations of Native American people but I think this is probably one of the lighter versions, though still very unfortunate.

I found the start of the book to be a little confusing as it introduced so many character perspectives and jumped through time but I did find the rest of the book easier to follow. 

Full review will be posted on my blog on 19th March but can be moved if requested.
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The reason I gave this book a five star is because I could not give it more it was sad in places but happy in others I will recommend  it friends looking forward to finding more books by Linda LeGarde Grover
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Get your hands on a copy of #inthenightofmemory by #lindalegardegrover as soon as it’s available! And #returntosweetgrass in the meantime if you can (I’m going to ask my library to order it in today!). This book, about two Ojibwe girls and their lives after their mother Loretta is forced to surrender them to the state, after which she simply disappears into the ranks of the missing and murdered Indigenous women, is a powerful read. Azure Day and Rainfall Dawn are separated into the foster system, reunited in the same system, and eventually returned to their families with the passing of the essential Indian Child Welfare Act (what is happening currently with challenges to this law is yet another crime against the Indigenous Peoples of these territories). This book is about the love of blood family, and chosen family. Of the healing power of culture and community. But also of the grief and trauma that spans generations over the repeated theft of Indigenous children from their families, and the far reaching implications of this ongoing genocide. I held my baby close reading this one at night, and made more than a few trips down the hallway to check on his sleeping sister.
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In the Night of Memory was a slow-paced novel where we mainly focus on Rainfall Dawn's and Azure Sky's feelings and memories of their mother and how they fare when adopted out. 

Both of them now in the foster care system, this novel explores the important topic of what it means to feel excluded and discarded by society and the life and problems in a Indian Boarding school.

I enjoyed this book, although it was quite out of my comfort zone, since I usually enjoy faster-paced literature.

Thank you NetGalley and University of Minnesota Press for providing me with an eGalley.
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In the 1890's, the Mozlay Point Indian Reservation Lands were divided into allotted acreage near Duluth, Minnesota. Displaced Indians were promised a settlement along the Miskwaa River. The Miskwaa residents were a forgotten people, "falling into the cracks", ignored by the federal government. The winters were bitterly cold. Life was a hardscrabble existence. The people needed to trap, harvest and might participate in the illegal liquor trade just to prevent starvation.

Loretta Gallette was born in a tar papered dwelling along the Miskwaa River. As a youngster, Loretta was constantly uprooted living with whomever could take her at the time. She might have been sent to Indian Boarding School where children were "schooled, ate, slept, punished, locked up, beaten and abused". In her late teens, she "adopted out" a son and presently lived with her two small daughters, Rainfall Dawn and Azure Sky, 4 years and 3 years, respectively. That is, until she was forced to surrender the girls to St. Louis County Foster Care.

Azure and Rain cherished memories of their mother, Loretta. They seemed to recall sitting on the back porch fire escape, wrapped in a blanket, viewing the Northern Lights. They visualized Loretta swaying and dancing toe-to-heel in the traditional style of Ojibwe women. Azure and Rain were now entered in the foster care system. What would their experiences be? Would their mother remember them? Look for them?

In 1978, the Indian Child Welfare Act was passed. Appeals to the Mozhay Point Business Committee were made requesting the return of Loretta Gallette's children to a family member. Many children like Loretta remained lost. Hopefully, Rain and Azure could become acquainted and reside with their family and tribe.

"In the Night of Memory" by Linda LeGarde Grover is a novel exploring the plight of displaced children and adults living on the fringes of society, the effect of Indian Boarding Schools and the impact of the Indian Child Welfare Act. Native American heritage might be embraced the Indian way by children returned to their families.

Thank you University of Minnesota Press and Net Galley for the opportunity to read and review "In the Night of Memory".
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