Title: The Reason You Walk
Author: Wab Kinew
My Rating: ♥♥♥
I read The Reason You Walk to discuss at my monthly bookclub. We choose two books per month, and this month it was this one by Wab Kinew together with The Secret Path by Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire (click the link to see my review of that one).
I was busy trying to read as many books as I could from the CBC Canada Reads 2017 Longlist, and so I didn’t get around to starting this one until a couple of days before the bookclub meeting. Luckily, I found it to be a pretty quick read.
Now, I know almost nothing at all about Canadian Aboriginal culture and society. I know the basics about residential schools and some of the problems that the community has, of course. But one thing I really enjoyed in this book was the insight into some of the rituals and ceremonies that are part of their life. I was also surprised to learn in the bookclub meeting that it hasn’t really been a part of the school curriculum until recently. Most people there exclaimed that I probably didn’t know much less than your average Canadian.
The book was interesting, and as I mentioned earlier, it was easy to read. It wasn’t a mind-blowing piece of literature, but it was honest and down to earth. I don’t know much about Wab Kinew either, but I have a feeling that this somehow matches with his personality.
Out of the two (The Reason You Walk and The Secret Path), I think I liked the creativity and immersive feeling of The Secret Path more. There was something a bit stilted about Wab Kinew’s writing at times that made it hard for me to fully immerse myself in his story.
Overall, I’d say I would give it a 3 out of 5. It was educational, and it didn’t take long to read, but I won’t go around recommending it to all of my friends.