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The Removed

The Removed

A Novel

Book - 2021 | First edition
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"In the fifteen years since their teenage son, Ray-Ray, was killed in a police shooting, the Echota family has been suspended in private grief. The mother, Maria, increasingly struggles to manage the onset of Alzheimer's in her husband, Ernest. Their adult daughter, Sonja, leads a life of solitude, punctuated only by spells of dizzying romantic obsession. And their son, Edgar, fled home long ago, turning to drugs to mute his feelings of alienation.With the family's annual bonfire approaching - an occasion marking both the Cherokee National Holiday and Ray-Ray's death, and a rare moment in which they openly talk about his memory - Maria attempts to call the family together from their physical and emotional distances once more. But as the bonfire draws near, each of them feels a strange blurring of the boundary between normal life and the spirit world. Maria and Ernest take in a foster child who seems to almost miraculously keep Ernest's mental fog at bay. Sonja becomes dangerously fixated on a man named Vin, despite - or perhaps because of - his ties to tragedy in her lifetime and lifetimes before. And in the wake of a suicide attempt, Edgar finds himself in the mysterious Darkening Land: a place between the living and the dead, where old atrocities echo."--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Ecco, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2021]
©2021
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062997548 (hardcover)
0062997548 (hardcover)
Branch Call Number: FIC HOBSON
Characteristics: 272 pages ; 22 cm

Opinion

From Library Staff

A poetic and haunting tale of how a Cherokee family has survived with their grief over losing a son and a brother 15 years earlier at the hands of the police.

March 2021 pick.


From the critics


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h
hamerkop
Mar 29, 2021

A tale of loss and renewal.

l
laphampeak
Mar 16, 2021

It's more than a family who lost their son. This family's journey in the years after conjure Native stories that enabled better understanding. They appealed to nature, animals, and mystical power to heal. "It has been said we are illusions, nightmares, and dreams, the disturbing and tense apparitions of the mind. We are always restless, carrying the dreams of children and the elderly, the tired and sick, the poor, the wounded The removed."

JCLS_Ashland_Kristin Mar 16, 2021

This novel told in multiple POVs deals with loss and healing. The juxtaposition of a modern family dealing with the loss of a beloved son/brother juxtaposed against The Trail of Tears and Cherokee folklore is particularly effective. A note on the audio: OSF Company Member Shaun Taylor-Corbett is one of the readers!

b
brangwinn
Feb 02, 2021

Focusing on the Echota family preparing for the annual bonfire to remember their murdered son, Hobson has used Cherokee folklore to help the family understand what has happened. Hobson was able to create characters who the reader can relate. From Ernest, the father, who is experiencing dementia and his wife, Maria, who holds the family together. The adult daughter is dealing with her identity and sadness and the son is struggling with addiction. Both of the adult children also deal with racism in their Oklahoma communities. Add in a foster child who seems to be the reincarnation of Ray-Ray, the dead son. I imagine that if I were to read this story the second time, I would see the same words with different eyes. Hobson is a master storyteller.

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