A daring post-apocalyptic novel from a powerful rising literary voice
With winter looming, a small northern Anishinaabe community goes dark. Cut off, people become passive and confused. Panic builds as the food supply dwindles. While the band council and a pocket of community members struggle to maintain order, an unexpected visitor arrives, escaping the crumbling society to the south. Soon after, others follow.
The community leadership loses its grip on power as the visitors manipulate the tired and hungry to take control of the reserve. Tensions rise and, as the months pass, so does the death toll due to sickness and despair. Frustrated by the building chaos, a group of young friends and their families turn to the land and Anishinaabe tradition in hopes of helping their community thrive again. Guided through the chaos by an unlikely leader named Evan Whitesky, they endeavor to restore order while grappling with a grave decision.
Blending action and allegory, Moon of the Crusted Snow upends our expectations. Out of catastrophe comes resilience. And as one society collapses, another is reborn.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Waubgeshig Rice imagines a dystopia that’s so plausible, it stirs up real anxiety. After mysteriously losing power and cell reception, an Anishinaabe reservation in northern Canada is barely getting by—and then an unexpected visitor shows up. His arrival tests the existing social hierarchy and drastically shifts loyalties. Rice’s prose is as spare as the resources in his chilly wilderness, and his story is exceptionally compelling and unsettling. Indigenous lit is having a well-deserved moment in the spotlight; with provocative tales like this, we expect it to be a long and exhilarating moment.
Fall is just about to turn into winter when cell service goes out in a Anishinaabe community in Rice's chilling post-apocalyptic novel (following Legacy). The novel centers on Evan Whitesky, a young father to two children living on a reservation in northern Canada who is attempting to relearn and maintain the traditional ways in a world where society has collapsed and electricity, cell phones, land lines, and satellites have all disappeared. In the absence of all the things that make the long, harsh winters of northern Canada easier, the community has to band together to ensure its survival, doling out canned provisions and trying to ensure running water and heat for everyone for as long as possible. When a man arrives seeking refuge from the chaos in the south, Evan and his community allow him to stay in spite of their misgivings. As the winter progresses and hunger sets in, hostility rises and small-town power struggles become a life-or-death affair. This slow-burning thriller is also a powerful story of survival and will leave readers breathless.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Rice has mastered suspense. The tension increases with every word until the gruesome end. It is interesting readers never find out what happened in the South but the point is that it doesn’t matter. To these characters that is not their world. My only criticism is the character of Scott is stereotypical and flat. His only purpose is to provide conflict but this could have been a story of survival and been more realistic for it.
As a First Nation person I felt this was a very sad story and I felt it was hard to breathe throughout while reading it (like I was suffocating). I was expecting more based on other reviews I’ve seen on Twitter. There is a spelling mistake I believe on page 445. Evan is misspelled. Perhaps I didn’t understand the ending either. I don’t know if Evan survived.