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Review: Son of a Trickster

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Guys, Eden Robinson is an absolute delight. I heard her read from Son of A Trickster at this year’s Festival of Literary Diversity, and she was so so great. I’d picked up the book in anticipation of the reading and was lucky enough to get her to sign it.

What’s it about?

Jared seems like a typical burnout high school kid. He drinks too much, he smokes too much, and his home life is a mess. His mom doesn’t stay sober for long and has a history of bad boyfriends and weapon-wielding.

Yet Jared tries his best to care for others. He uses his cookie money to support his father’s new family. He helps out his elderly neighbours.

But when strange things start happening – blackouts, talking ravens – Jared’s life gets even more chaotic and he’s left with a lot of questions. Why does his grandmother think he’s the son of a trickster? And can he keep life together?

Let’s get into it…

When introducing Eden Robinson at The FOLD, Jael Richardson said Son of the Trickster is a book that proves Canadian Lit is anything but boring. I couldn’t agree more. Robinson’s writing draws you in and keeps you glued to the page.

I’m struggling to put into words why Jared’s story stands out among the other YA books I’ve read. Perhaps it’s the chaotic grittiness of his story – the drinking, drugs, sex, and violence. Or perhaps it’s the way Robinson mixes reality and magic. It’s quite unique. She puts the reader in the same position as Jared, uncertain as to what’s fueled by insobriety and what’s truly happening.

Robinson also weaves Indigenous beliefs into the story, creating an even richer tapestry. Eden Robinson is a member of the Haisla and Heilsk First Nations, and it was fun to get a little more insight into her culture through her efforts. Jared and his family aren’t the only Indigenous characters either. Most of the cast is Indigenous and therefore an array of perspectives on various social issues are presented.

Despite there being some bleak and mature themes in Son of a Trickster, there’s also a lot of humour and fun. I feel like this novel was a really good introduction to Jared and the world he’s part of. I can’t wait to see where the story goes next.

Final thoughts: If you’re looking for a fun story with a bit of grit, this is for you. Eden Robinson’s writing is mesmerizing!

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