Books·Canadian

The Evolution of Alice

David Alexander Robertson's novel follows a single mother raising her three daughters on the reservation where she grew up.

David Alexander Robertson

This haunting, emotionally resonant story delivers us into the world of Alice, a single mother raising her three young daughters on the rez where she grew up. Alice has never had an easy life, but has managed to get by with the support of her best friend, Gideon, and her family. When an unthinkable loss occurs, Alice is forced onto a different path, one that will challenge her belief in herself and the world she thought she knew. The Evolution of Alice is the kaleidoscopic story of one woman's place within the web of community. Peopled with unforgettable characters and told from multiple points of view, this is a novel where spirits are alive, forgiveness is possible, and love is the only thing that matters. (From Portage & Main Press)

From the book

Alice lived in a converted trailer about thirty feet off the highway, a few kilometres into the rez. If you visited her, you'd see a bunch of kids' toys in the driveway. A toy car that her toddler, Grace, could push herself around in with her little feet, just like the Flintstones; a plastic basketball net about three feet high with a few balls lying around it, one of which couldn't fit through the hoop and caused Grace fits; a rickety metal hockey net with mesh like a damaged spider web and a few floor hockey sticks resting on top of it; and a turtle-shaped sandbox full of beach sand from the nearby lake and digging toys and trucks and buckets. You'd see her home, that old trailer, and notice she didn't have real curtains on the windows, but instead hung blankets — homemade blackout blinds, she'd say. On the kitchen window hung a majestic wolf, on her bedroom window a soaring eagle, and on the kids' window a big smiling Dora. There were a few large buckets by the front door for gathering water from the lake. A few feet from the trailer you'd see a little green shed which housed more toys, some tools she never used, and a lawn mower that she did. A few feet still from there you'd see that outhouse, and there was nothing much to describe about that, and you wouldn't want me to anyway.


From The Evolution of Alice by David Alexander Robertson ©2016. Published by Portage and Main Press.

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