The Strangers

Katherena Vermette

The Strangers
University of New Mexico Press
United States
1 March 2024

The Strangers

Katherena Vermette

The Strangers, a breathtaking companion to Vermette's bestselling debut The Break, is a fierce exploration of of bonds that refuse to be broken even in the most traumatic of circumstances. Cedar, Phoenix, and Elsie--these are the strangers, each haunted in her own way. Cedar grapples with the pain of being separated from her mother, Elsie, and her sister, Phoenix. From a youth detention center, Phoenix gives birth to a baby she'll never get to raise. And Elsie, struggling with addiction and determined to turn her life around, is buoyed by the idea of being reunited with her daughters and striving to be someone they can depend on, unlike her own distant mother. Between flickering moments of warmth and support, the women diverge and reconnect, fighting to survive in a fractured system that pretends to offer success but expects them to fail. Facing the distinct blade of racism from those they trusted most, they urge one another to move through the darkness, all the while wondering if they'll ever emerge safely on the other side.

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