september 2020

Please refer to the reading scale. It can be found by clicking on the link below.

reading ladder

Novel: Highway of Tears

Author: Jessica McDiarmid

A True Story of Racism, Indifference and the Pursuit of Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Pages: 332 out of 332

Rating: ★★★★

Highway of Tears, is a true crime novel aiming to bring awareness to missing and murdered Indigenous women in British Columbia and across Canada. It uses interviews and testimony to showcase the systemic crisis in policing and throughout communities that has failed the victims and their families. Through referencing real life accounts, it sheds much needed light on this national crisis, a genocide. Between Prince Rupert and Prince George is a seven hundred fifty kilometre stretch of highway connecting many small, isolated communities where many Indiegenous women have gone missing and been found murdered in the last forty years. Many victims are mentioned by name referencing their family life, history and living conditions-through focussing the narrative on the victim and the journey their families are working towards to receive justice. The book often shifts from point of view varying from victim memorialia, the stance of the RCMP and the general public.  Furthermore, this adds heavy emotion to the novel as the topics covered are sensitive and contain graphic details.

332 pages divided by seventeen days equals approximately 20 pages per day

I have not eagerly read in a long long time. The last book I finished was in February 2020 before the whole world entered a full scale lockdown due to COVID-19. During quarantine, I tried reading a variety of books- none of them interested me and my shortened attention span discouraged me from building upon my reading skills. Even for me, an individual who has not indulged in reading for a long time, this book was captivating and exposed me to a variety of topics not heavily discussed in mainstream media. Furthermore, this book has allowed me to re-build upon the reading habits I lost during quarantine- I started this book mid September and by the time October started, I was finished reading the book and researching the complex cases I read about in the novel.  I have heard about the Highway of Tears in general before, however I did not know the complex history and tragedy that encompassed the stretch of highway. It allowed me to expand my knowledge on an important issue often ignored by the public eye. 

Even though I sometimes have trouble focussing while reading, I can improve my attention span by limiting distractions around me and trying to find a quiet place to read. I would often find myself going on my phone ten minutes into reading because it takes time for me to get into a book. My goal for next month is to read about 30 pages per day because I will be reading more frequently -we have more time in school this month and by allocating more time to reading at night. Furthermore I want to expand what I read into more complex novels, plays and other forms of literature. I have recently started “Dollhouse” by playwright Henrik Ibsen and I think this has exposed me to how writing doesn’t have to be constant narration, but dialogue in a play. In October, I look forward to finishing this play and perhaps starting a novel such as “Quiet” by Sarah Cain.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *