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Dream or memory?

Cover of The Berry Pickers: A Novel
A review of The Berry Pickers: A Novel by Amanda Peters

A Mi'kmaq family travels from Novia Scotia to Maine to pick blueberries every summer. They arrive seasonally and live near the fields in a warm and inviting cabin. One summer, their four-year-old daughter May goes missing in broad daylight sending the family into a decades-long cycle of heartbreak and trauma that changes the family dynamic forever. 

Norma lives with her parents not far away from where the little girl went missing. For as long as she can remember, she's felt different. She has vivid dreams of playing by a fire, the smell of boiled potatoes and a woman and boy who are just out of reach. As Norma grows older, things happen to make her question her upbringing and the family that doesn't look like her.      

This is a story of parallel lives and how racism and prejudice make and break people in different ways. Beautifully written and poignant, The Berry Pickers raises questions about grief, alcohol as a coping mechanism, and how generational trauma affects those around us. It's about coming to terms with life circumstances that you can control and those you cannot. It's also a story of healing and forgiveness.

Apr 17, 2024