Pondo’s Review: Bone Black

By Carol Rose Goldeneagle

There are too many stories about Indigenous women who go missing or are murdered, and it doesn’t seem as though official sources such as government, police or the courts respond in a way that works toward finding justice or even solutions. At least that is the way Wren StrongEagle sees it.

Wren is devastated when her twin sister, Raven, mysteriously disappears after the two spend an evening visiting at a local pub. When Wren files a missing persons report with the local police, she is dismissed and becomes convinced the case will not be properly investigated. As she follows media reports, Wren realizes that the same heartbreak she’s feeling is the same for too many families, indeed for whole Nations. Something within Wren snaps and she decides to take justice into her own hands. She soon disappears into a darkness, struggling to come to terms with the type of justice she delivers. Throughout her choices, and every step along the way, Wren feels as though she is being guided. But, by what?

Wow. What a powerful piece of Canadian Literature. Amid the current Covid-19 crisis, it’s important to remember the other important issues in our country. I stumbled across this title as I was buying a special edition of Pride and Prejudice from Western Sky Books – it has Martha Stewart recipes! Because I was going to do a curb side pickup, I wanted to be making the trip for more than one book, which led me to search for newer Canadian releases. The theme of this book spoke to me because of my post-secondary studies.

The relationship between Raven and Wren is beautiful. As a twin myself, I can appreciate the feeling of never truly being alone. This special connection was well written and really added a unique perspective to the narrative. Wren’s early thoughts on Raven’s disappearance play on this idea as she tries to feel out what may have happened.

I thought the detail of Raven being a lawyer and working on cases related to missing women was perfect. It added an additional sorrow as she experiences what happened to the family members of her clients. These stories have been in the news and brought to the forefront by marches and advocacy – this story is an important addition to these ongoing actions.

The writing style is different than my usual choice of books and took a little to adjust too. By the end of the novel, I found I enjoyed the ebb and flow of which perspective was being shown. Wren is a fully flushed out character and the reader gets to see her various emotions as she goes through her search.

Highly highly suggest this novel as your next read. It’s not a light one and it makes you think.

Buy your own copy from Bookshop.org