As Long as the Rivers Flow (2020)

As Long as the Rivers Flow From the accomplished memoirist and former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario comes a first novel of incredible heart and spirit for every Canadian The novel follows one girl Martha from the Cat Lake Fi
  • Title: As Long as the Rivers Flow
  • Author: James Bartleman
  • ISBN: 9780307398741
  • Page: 488
  • Format: Hardcover
  • From the accomplished memoirist and former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario comes a first novel of incredible heart and spirit for every Canadian.The novel follows one girl, Martha, from the Cat Lake First Nation in Northern Ontario who is stolen from her family at the age of six and flown far away to residential school She doesn t speak English but is punished for speakiFrom the accomplished memoirist and former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario comes a first novel of incredible heart and spirit for every Canadian.The novel follows one girl, Martha, from the Cat Lake First Nation in Northern Ontario who is stolen from her family at the age of six and flown far away to residential school She doesn t speak English but is punished for speaking her native language most terrifying and bewildering, she is also fed to the school s attendant priest with an attraction to little girls.Ten long years later, Martha finds her way home again, barely able to speak her native tongue The memories of abuse at the residential school are so strong that she tries to drown her feelings in drink, and when she gives birth to her beloved son, Spider, he is taken away by Children s Aid to Toronto In time, she has a baby girl, Raven, whom she decides to leave in the care of her mother while she braves the bewildering strangeness of the big city to find her son and bring him home.
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    One Reply to “As Long as the Rivers Flow”

    1. I learned and felt a lot from reading this book I selected this book to read because I wanted to learn about the Aboriginal experience in residential schools here in Canada Up to this point, my knowledge was basically superficial and based on newspaper and other media reports I felt a great deal of sadness and shame learning details of this horrific part of our country s history and the multi generational negative impact the residential school system has had on our native community Children of [...]

    2. I m torn on this book While it covers a very important topic, the writing was just not good.Martha is taken away at the age of 6 to a residential school There she is abused in every possible way and by the time she is allowed to go back home, she no longer knows what to do with herself She can t fix her relationship with her mother, starts drinking, get pregnant, and has her child taken away from her as she doesn t care for it.Although she manages to make some changes in her life, the conditions [...]

    3. I was asked to read this to start Teacher s College at Trent University over the summer I stalled reading it until early August but once I got into it, I knew it was going to be an eye opener This novel is set in Northern Ontario, a place that most Canadians know virtually nothing about Having read a little bit about the disaster that was occurring a few months ago up North on the reserves, I knew that there were many Aboriginals living in poverty However, having read this novel, I now feel that [...]

    4. It has taken me quite a while to finally finish reading As Long As The Rivers Flow And it wasn t that I disliked the book or couldn t get into it that caused me to take so much time to get through its mere 247 pages It s just that even though it s a work of fiction, the subject matter within, of the effects of residential school on a First Nations woman and her family, is very real Many of my family members having been survivors of residential school themselves made reading Martha s story quite [...]

    5. Spoilers This novel is not for the faint of heart By the end of the prologue, I felt like I might be sick.Bartleman sAs Long as the Rivers Flowfollows the life of Martha, an Anishinabe woman of Northern Ontario, from her birth in 1956 to her mid fifties If you know anything about the lives of Aboriginal peoples during this time period, you will know that Martha s is not a pleasant story.Just like thousands of aboriginal children, Martha is sent to a Native residential school in James Bay at the [...]

    6. As Long as the Rivers Flow by James Bartleman flows Martha, a girl from Cat Lake First Nation in Northern Ontario who is forcefully taken away to a residential school at the age of six At the school, she is not allowed to speak her native language and is physically abused and punished The worst part is the sexual abuse inflicted on her for six years by the school s priest, a man with an attraction to little girls When Martha finally returns to her reserve, she finds herself an outcast, barely ab [...]

    7. As Long as the Rivers Flow really shows in depth the suffering of Aboriginal people and what they have been put through By using a fictional character, Martha, the pain and fear of being taken away from their families to be put in residential schools is clearly shown Then we see the abuse in residential schools, the loss of culture and identity, and the life following residential schools Every aspect has been touched on and for some who may not understand the extent of what the white people have [...]

    8. Wow Every Canadian No actually every being on the planet could benefit from reading this book I hope this is part of a Canadian history class at the high school level I knew about residential schools and I hear news of various issues facing our first Canadians Reading this book brought this into my awareness at a new level I am so sorry that people have suffered in such a way We are all connected to this and we can heal when the issues are brought to light Thank you James Bartleman for doing tha [...]

    9. The reason for the rating is due to the way the book is written it is much too simplistic for the heart wrenching topic it s about The depth of suffering experienced by the First Nations people as a whole is unimaginable to most, yet the book does a quick fix at the end where everyone feels better which is completely unrealistic.

    10. Not so bad as a 3 but not good enough for a 4.I had been dreading this should read for some time but for no reason As difficult as the subject matter is to think about, let alone read about, this was a very easy read that drove me to want to keep reading.I did not however feel that I knew Martha, Raven, or Spider as well as I would have liked but perhaps I am experiencing the cultural distance that exists between First Nations peoples and the White man This distance did not stop me from grieving [...]

    11. I really liked what this book was trying to do, but it s style was really mediocre The writing wasn t the best though I am interested to read the same author s non fiction It was a good story, and a good read to learn a bit about First Nations culture but I thought most of the characters were underdeveloped and I just couldn t connect enough with them because of the writing I also thought some of the topics were poorly addressed, like the way addiction was really glossed over not so much the roo [...]

    12. Although Bartleman s book is a work of fiction, he does a marvelous work depicting the reality faced by the First nations communities across Canada, during the time of forced cultural assimilation brought onto Residential Schools This is a must read for those looking to get acquainted with Indigenous issues faced in Canada including, but not limited to alcoholism, drug addiction, high rates of suicide, lack of motivation and lost of cultural identity, among others What really captivated me was [...]

    13. Written by the former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, this is a fictionalized version of what many First Nations children went through in the 60s, 70s, and 80s forcibly sent to a residential school governed by loveless nuns and sexually abusive priests, being forced to learn English and ignore their own language and culture for 10 years, and then return to their homes in northern Ontario to try to live a normal life Bartleman includes the epidemic of teen suicides that occurred in the generation [...]

    14. This book demonstrates how the pain of past injustice can continue long over one s life course and become inter generational when left unacknowledged It also demonstrates the turmoil associated with cultural displacement, as identity and belonging fall under attack This past must be acknowledged by Canadians if ignorance about the plight of the Aboriginal community is to ever be diminished This book is beautifully written and can be a wonderful tool for bringing understanding to so many Canadian [...]

    15. The subject matter of this book is the fallout of the residential school abuse on Native communities in northern Ontario It is fictional, fallows the life of Martha from birth to middle age Told by James Bartleman, a member of the Chippeawa of Rama First Nation, known for his love for and amazing worth bringing books to children in fly in remote northern Ontario communities, it is a story from the heart.A very good perspective read into the issues.

    16. Finally finished This book tells a great story about the Natives and all the pain they went through I already knew a little bit about reisdental schools and how awful they were but this novel painted an even horrifying picture The message was plain and simple but I felt as if the story line never really went anywhere Most of the plot was depressing I loved the idea I just wish it was written better for a novel

    17. I liked this book and how it retold most if not all of what had happened in Canada during the times of Residential schools We were learning about Residential schools in Northern Studies, and I chose this book to read I really connected to this story, I have not experienced what had happened, as I was about 8 years old when Stephen Harper did the apology in 2008 but I do know some people who have and are still healing.

    18. This book is a commendable attempt at making Canadians realize the tragedies that occurred in residential schools across the country The only problem is that it was terribly written, and I rarely say such things I just found that it was hard to believe the characters dialogue and the plot was repetitive and predictable If the plot remained relatively the same and someone like Joseph Boyden rewrote it I think we d have a winner Sorry James Bartleman.

    19. This is a book that most people should read, if not everyone The toll that the the residential schools have taken on the First Nations people in Canada is significant and the misunderstanding that I hope is starting to be eradicated between white people and First Nations people in our country is partially explained I hope that we can all come to a mutual understanding as the years go by and that ALL Canadians can feel this country is theirs.

    20. I believe that every Canadian should read this book The story was horrifying, even so because while it is fiction, these things actually did happen in our country s history The writing was not the best and I do not say this lightly but the subject matter definitely made it worth the read.

    21. Still chugging through the pages, I am a transit reader, I read mainly while in transit So far the story is developing where Martha is headed to Toronto to get a bit of the city life it will be interesting to see read how she manages.

    22. It is well written and a good story, but very very sad I couldn t give it 4 stars because it s sad throughout the whole book, and you re left with a desolate feeling But it is a good book with a powerful meaning behind it.

    23. This novel will stay with me for a very long time The short and long time damage caused by the residential schools was horrendous But there was hope if one could learn to forgive and learn to love yourself again.

    24. Such a sad book Very well written, with a very positive ending, but still so sad, this whole episode of residential school and physical, mental, and sexual abuse The robbing of a culture, a language, such a rich heritage to have tried to destroy.

    25. a chilling illustration of the residential school legacy and its destructive force on native reserves in this country should be required reading across the country

    26. James Bartleman joined us at Kingston WritersFest 2011 You can read about James and the Festival here kingstonwritersfest

    27. Great introduction to the residential school system and the intergenerational impact it has had on residential school survivors and their families.

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