Azure Sky was the storyteller who kept the visual memory alive for her elder sister Rainfall Dawn. Their mother Loretta had roused them from their bed on the couch, and wrapping them in a blanket, took them outside to see the northern lights flashing in the night sky. Loretta folded her blanket and drew it across her shoulders, chanting and dancing in the old way. The next morning Loretta left the girls at the county, unable to care for them, hoping that rehab would change her life and reunite her family.
Azure and Rainy never saw their mother again.
They were two halves of the same sister, stronger together than apart. But the county did part them. Azure survived; Rainy was broken. When they were teens their extended Ojibwa family tracked them down and through the Indian Child Welfare act returned them to their people.
In the Night of Memory by Linda LeGarde Grover is hauntingly beautiful and achingly heartbreaking. Different voices tell the story of Loretta, Azure, and Rainy, which is the story of a community broken by colonialism and the removal of native children. And how, having lost Loretta, they determine not to lose Loretta's children but bring them back home.
I received a book from the University of Minnesota Press through Bookish First in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.