Books·Canadian

Tilly and the Crazy Eights

Tilly and the Crazy Eights is a novel by Monique Gray Smith.

Monique Gray Smith

When Tilly receives an invitation to help drive eight elders on their ultimate bucket list road trip to Albuquerque for the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow, she impulsively says yes. Before she knows it, Tilly has said goodbye to her family and is behind the wheel — ready to embark on an adventure that will transform her in ways she could not predict. Just as it will for each and every one of the elders on the trip, who soon dub themselves "the Crazy Eights." Tilly and the Crazy Eights each choose a stop to make along the way — somewhere they've always wanted to go or something they've wanted to experience. Their plan is to travel to Las Vegas, Sedona and the Redwood Forests, with each destination the inspiration for secrets and stories to be revealed. The trip proves to be powerful medicine as they laugh, heal, argue and reveal hopes and dreams along the way. With friendships forged, love found, hearts broken and mended, Tilly and the Crazy Eights feel ready for anything by the time their bus rolls to a stop in New Mexico. But are they? (From Second Story Press)

Tilly and the Crazy Eights is on the Canada Reads 2021 longlist.

Monique Gray Smith is a writer of Cree, Lakota and Scottish heritage who currently lives in Victoria. She is also the author of the novel Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resilience, the nonfiction middle-grade book Speaking Our Truth, and the picture books When We Are Kind and My Heart Fills with Happiness.

Why Monique Gray Smith wrote Tilly and the Crazy Eights

"It's ultimately a story of love and reminds us of the power of the human spirit. These eight Elders and Tilly remind us that love is medicine.

It's ultimately a story of love and reminds us of the power of the human spirit.- Monique Gray Smith

"I received a grant from the First Peoples' Cultural Council to do the road trip and did it with my best friend Kelly... and when we left on the road trip I had some of the characters in mind because some of the characters come from my first novel." 

Read more in her interview with The Next Chapter.

From the book

Te new moon barely lit a path for the elders into their meeting in the basement of the community hall. Te wind howled through the valley and would've caused the sagebrush to blow about had it not been covered with snow. Not only was the landscape feeling the brunt of a long, harsh winter, but so were the women. Each of them was in need of a spark or something to give them hope to get through the rest of the season that was wearing on them in ways they couldn't describe. Or didn't dare describe.


From Tilly and the Crazy Eights by Monique Gray Smith ©2018. Published by Second Story Press.

Interviews with Monique Gray Smith

Monique Gray Smith talks about her latest novel Tilly and the Crazy Eights. 3:38

Other books by Monique Gray Smith

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