The Removed is a beautiful treatise on grief particularly in regard to the culture and traditions of the Cherokee nation. The Echota family has suffered a grievous loss and none of them have recovered. Each family member is coping in their own way. Most of these are not healthy ways. The chapters alternate between the family members as the anniversary of the death approaches.
One of their stories is hopeful, another vengeful and one is just lost. They all have traditional Cherokee spiritual elements. I enjoyed each of their stories and perspectives on grief although Edgar’s was quite challenging to understand at times. We see the impact of the Trail of Tears displacement both through the current narrative and through the narrative of Tsala who lived through that time. There are beautiful tales and myths weaved throughout and although I’m not sure I always got where those fit in, I did enjoy reading them. In addition to the commentary on grief we see the impact systematic racism has had in relation to the actual death, access to health care, domestic violence, drugs and poverty.
I felt like I wanted a hundred more pages and some substance and consequences to come to a few of the characters but, that said, I was satisfied with the more interpretive ending. I flew through the book and barely wanted to put it down. I wanted a little more in Edgar and Wyatt’s endings but I can surmise their fates. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This one came out yesterday so scoop it up!
Thanks to Netgalley for giving me access to this ARC for my honest review.
What’s your favorite read by an Indigenous author?