While reading Waubgeshig Rice’s novel Moon of the Crusted Snow I found myself able to easily connect with the experiences of the main character, Evan.
I enjoyed the section that I read because the descriptions of hunting and the actions and words from Evan are really close to to experiences I’ve had, especially the interaction between Evan and Isaiah. It reminded me of the times when my step dad bring would bring home a deer or moose, the conversations he would have with his buddies about knives and fleshing and butchering. Or from earlier in the text when Evan mentions that he will share his catches with his family and community – that’s exactly what my family does with our catches of fish, partridge, moose, deer.
I really appreciate how true to real ‘rez’ life this novel is so far. Even if it has just been in regards to hunting thus far, it hopefully carries a message of tradition to many different audience types.
I really connected with this main character, he has a desire to provide for his family as well as take care of himself, both in a traditional manner. the author states this on page 4 and 5, “He still felt a little awkward, saying this prayer of thanks mostly in English, with only a few Ojibwe words peppered here and there.” and “He promised to keep trying to live in a good way, despite the pull of negative influences around him.” These instances remind me of myself and my desire to live healthily, respectfully, and with proper traditional knowledge.
When I was younger I was taught that if I spoke fully in Anishnaabemowin, it would be easier for Gzhemnidoo to understand my prayer, so I understand Evan’s mini dilemma with not being able to speak fluent Ojibwe.
I’m interested to see how Evan reacts to his situations in the novel, since I as a reader have a cultural connection to him, I want to know if he is motivated to act with respect to culture, or if that kind of goes out the window depending on the situation. I think it would be interesting to compare how the reader to how the characters react, given our different life experiences – would we like the character more or less?
I think I’m really going to enjoy this novel, I already enjoy the characters and the setting, so I look forward to making more connections and working with it