Review of “Tears in the Grass” by Lynda Archer

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Tears in the Grass is the story of Elinor, a 90 year old Cree woman, and her quest to find the child that was taken from her as a newborn while she was living in a residential school. The child, a girl named Bright Eyes, was born after Elinor was raped by a man at the school. The year is now 1968 and more than 70 years have past. Elinor has never forgotten her beautiful daughter. She never told her late husband, or any other family member about this child, keeping the feelings of guilt and sorrow to herself. She knows her time is growing short and enlists the help of her daughter, Louise, and grandaughter, Alice.

Both Louise and Alice also have a secret. There is more focus on Louise’s though I’m not sure it really added much to the story. While I get the “everyone’s got a secret” theme, it felt a little gratuitous; a convenient commonality to connect Elinor and Louise after a difficult past relationship.

While I enjoyed many aspects of Elinor’s character, including her tenacity, wisdom and connection to nature, this book was a bit flat for me overall. I finished the book without really feeling connection or attachment to any of the characters. It wasn’t terrible; I just couldn’t get excited about anything.

My rating: 2.75 stars

Thanks to Dundurn Press via NetGalley for providing me with a free e-galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.