Fiction · Novels · Reviews

Review: Tilly & the Crazy Eights

Hi friends, happy Wednesday! I hope you’re all having a good week so far! Today I’m going to be posting my review of Monique Gray Smith’s novel Tilly & the Crazy Eights.

I read this for my Canada Reads project (reading all the nominated books for #CanadaReads).

Tilly & the Crazy Eights

Tilly and the Crazy Eights by: Monique Gray Smith: When Tilly gets an invitation to drive the elders on this bucket list road trip, she jumps at the opportunity. Nicknaming themselves the Crazy Eights, each elder gets to pick a thing or place they’ve always wanted to see or do on their way to their ultimate goal, the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow in Albuquerque. This trips helps them all to heal, laugh, forge friendships, each all in their own ways. This was such an encapsulating and mesmerizing story. For such a short novel, it sure had a big impact. This novel had light, funny moments; it had moments of clarity and rejuvenation, but it also had moments of sorrow and loss. This started off slow and the reader found it hard to keep track of the characters because they were introduced all at once, but as the story progressed the reader got a sense of who was who as they integrated into the story. Each character was really well developed that the reader could picture each one in their mind really clearly. All of their journeys were so personal and deep. They each had something they needed to overcome, some harder than others, and this novel didn’t shy away from the hard times, but embraced it. What also made this novel so heartwarming was how the author showcased Indian or Indigenous culture; from an outsider looking into their world, it was a great to learn and experience their traditions and customs through this book. The subtle hints of Residential schools and racism that were used as character developments was done well because it didn’t take away from the story, but it was still present enough for the reader to understand and let sink in how impactful those things were to the characters and how that shaped them into who they became. All in all, this was a powerful, short novel that really gripped the reader. 


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