Ravensong A Novel review Î 3

review Ravensong A Novel

Lee Maracle author of the best selling I Am Woman A Native Perspective on Sociology and F A fascinating Canadian novel that engrosses the reader so much into the events within the story that Stacey begins to feel like a real person a fellow acuaintance The contrasts between the village and white town are set in fiction but the eery tone invokes a deep sense of compassion and shame; for these descriptions are based upon fact and very accurate fact Never have I been so enthralled in a novel that challenges me in such a way To consider the moral implications that were enforced upon the gender race education citizenships health and most of allthe rights of the native other in relation to their dominant white neighbours Catharsis is achieved fully and the literary journey is worth the heartache Fabulous book Zombie CSU reader so much into the events within the story that Stacey begins to feel like a Conquerors real person a fellow acuaintance The contrasts between the village and white town are set in fiction but the eery tone invokes a deep sense of compassion and shame; for these descriptions are based upon fact and very accurate fact Never have I been so enthralled in a novel that challenges me in such a way To consider the moral implications that were enforced upon the gender The Legacy Chronicles: Chasing Ghosts race education citizenships health and most of allthe Deathcaster (Shattered Realms, rights of the native other in A Peoples Tragedy relation to their dominant white neighbours Catharsis is achieved fully and the literary journey is worth the heartache Fabulous book

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Ravensong A Novel

Eminism sets this novel in an urban Native American community on the Pacific Northwest co An incredibly poetic work describing the life of a group of Indians who depend on the land each other and their laws to keep cohesion in their community It fills me with shame for the white culture that has destroyed so much of the native way of life that we may ironically need in a future of environmental uncertainty

Lee Maracle ✓ 3 summary

Ast in the early 1950s Ravensong is by turns damning humorous inspirational and prophetic This book is the preuel to Celia's Song a book I read earlier this year It was interesting in that many events that happened in this book were referenced in that one It is told from the perspective of Celia's older sister Stacey who is attending her last year of white high school across the bridge from their village She plans to go to UBC and become a teacher after graduation Like in Celia's Song Maracle makes us aware of the differences between her people's way of seeing the world and our own Both are important books Naughty Bedtime Stories (Naughty Bedtime Series Book 2) read earlier this year It was interesting in that many events that happened in this book were Grandmother Moon referenced in that one It is told from the perspective of Celia's older sister Stacey who is attending her last year of white high school across the bridge from their village She plans to go to UBC and become a teacher after graduation Like in Celia's Song Maracle makes us aware of the differences between her people's way of seeing the world and our own Both are important books


10 thoughts on “Ravensong A Novel

  1. says:

    Ravensong Lee Maracle's 1993 novel is as powerful and meaningful today as it was when it was first published some twenty years ago It is a beautifully written at times challenging story that weaves the past with the present into a moving portrait of a family a community and a land that has faced and still faces many challenges from within and from outside Situated in the Northwest of Vancouver Island Maracle evokes a land where the Raven sings and communicates with Cedar where the cedar responds with gently swinging its branches and sometimes weeps It was a fertile land between the ocean and the river providing for the people with all they needed Yet memories of disturbing past events cast long shadows over the people and the natural environment Myths and stories from ancient times come alive again and again such as that of the double headed sea serpent that caused havoc with the minds of the people or the foreigners who arrived with ships A young girl deeply lost in thought sitting under the cedar carries vivid images of those tragic events that contributed to catastrophes later traumas that the community has not yet recovered from Set in the mid nineteen fifties the novel is built around an extended multi generational Coast Salish family and their community Their village may seem self contained and even remote from the bustling urban life yet white town is just across the river and a bridge connects the two communities Stacey the young girl's older sister is the only one among her siblings and cousins who attends school in the town At seventeen she has dreams of continuing her studies at university to become a teacher in her village She is exposed to a world that doesn't make much sense to her For example during an outbreak of the Hong Kong flu her village cannot get access to vital medicines and no doctor comes to visit them The barriers both physical and mental are huge Suspicion reigns on both sides of the river The bridge is mostly a one way street What will it take to change? Lee Maracle's way of telling her story absorbed me totally Her writing changes from the wonderfully poetic evocation of the natural world to a language that is precise direct and at times provocative when depicting the daily life of the people and their community Ravensong is filled with well developed characters they come alive in their interactions whether in sorrow or in laughter in love or in pain In fact the author herself kept her fondness for her protagonists over the decades and continued their stories in her most recent novel Celia's Song In fact I read the two novels back to back and while the combined reading enhanced and deepened my understanding the two novels stand on their own very well Just to give you a sense of the poetic writing in Ravensong here is the opening paragraph From the depths of the sound Raven sang a deep wind song melancholy green Above the water layered itself in stacks of still green dark to light The sound of Raven spiralled out from its small beginning in larger and larger concentric circles gaining volume as it passes each successive layer of green The song echoed the rolling motion of earth's centre filtering itself through the last layer to reach outward to earth's shoreline above the deep Wind changed direction blowing the song toward cedar Cedar picked up the tune repeated the refrain each lacey branch bending to echo ravensong Cloud seduced by the rustling of cedar moved sensually to shore


  2. says:

    Salish Métis author Lee Maracle’s 1993 novel Ravensong doesn’t centre around ueerness or lesbian sexuality in the way that you might expect in a book reviewed here It’s a beautiful and powerful novel about settler and Indigenous relations regardless but its main character Stacey a young Salish woman living on a reserve in the 1950s isn’t explicitly or implicity ueer although she is potentially ueer I would say given Maracle’s take on sexuality There is however a lesbian couple who feature as secondary characters in Ravensong and I think their inclusion is really significant for a few reasons Mostly I find the way that the novel deals with ueer sexuality in relation to its politics of decolonization fascinating In fact I think honing in on how the novel deals with ueerness is a great way to understand what it’s trying to do in terms of decolonizing The absence in Ravensong of an explicit assertion of ueerness the fact that it doesn’t “come out” as it were as a ueer text is no failure at all but rather indicates an entirely different method of interrogating issues of ueer sexualitySee the rest of my review on my website


  3. says:

    A fascinating Canadian novel that engrosses the reader so much into the events within the story that Stacey begins to feel like a real person a fellow acuaintance The contrasts between the village and white town are set in fiction but the eery tone invokes a deep sense of compassion and shame; for these descriptions are based upon fact and very accurate fact Never have I been so enthralled in a novel that challenges me in such a way To consider the moral implications that were enforced upon the gender race education citizenships health and most of allthe rights of the native other in relation to their dominant white neighbours Catharsis is achieved fully and the literary journey is worth the heartache Fabulous book


  4. says:

    An incredibly poetic work describing the life of a group of Indians who depend on the land each other and their laws to keep cohesion in their community It fills me with shame for the white culture that has destroyed so much of the native way of life that we may ironically need in a future of environmental uncertainty


  5. says:

    not gonna rate this bc it's for a class but oh wow this was really deep when you really think about it


  6. says:

    This is the most beautiful book I have read in a while It carefully feathers together how complicated the divide is between the world of white people and the Native American way of life It is well worth the time it takes to read it a day or two and offers such deep insight that I feel like I understand things better than I did before I read it yet it is also utterly overwhelming to contemplate my own lack of understanding and the great loss that the People have endured I loved this story so much Thank you Lee Marcle


  7. says:

    Just finished this book and I was completely engrossed with it Lee has a really absorbing style of writing


  8. says:

    Good but there are books out there that are nuanced in the treatment of issues separating indigenous culture from Western culture The protagonist was mostly smug about the white people around her Granted there is definitely a place for indigenous characters being smug about the white people around them considering how violently smug white people have been and continue to be but this felt like it added nothing to the conversation It was too flaccid to be truly radical and too smug to be noteworthy But then I was reading Rushdie at the same time and the contrast might've made me critical of this than I would have been had I not been enjoying the warped and iconoclastic work of the latter


  9. says:

    This book is the preuel to Celia's Song a book I read earlier this year It was interesting in that many events that happened in this book were referenced in that one It is told from the perspective of Celia's older sister Stacey who is attending her last year of white high school across the bridge from their village She plans to go to UBC and become a teacher after graduation Like in Celia's Song Maracle makes us aware of the differences between her people's way of seeing the world and our own Both are important books


  10. says:

    Loved this book for the way it positions coming of age uestioning and shifting family dynamics as a focal point from which to view the everyday violence of colonialism The rich and varied symbolism woven through this relatively short book would make it perfect to read with a pal or reading group I'm thinking of of the dialogue between Cedar and Raven the ephemeral presence of Celia the way the epilogue reframes the prior narrative I'm glad Maracle wrote a follow up and I'm eager to read it