Rose's Run by Dawn Dumont

This work embodies everything I've come to expect from a novel by Dawn Dumont, and then some. These days she is my favourite Canadian author. There is her characteristic witty repartee. Her sense of humour is brilliant with guaranteed laugh out loud moments. Her characters are full-fledged, sweet, albeit imperfect souls. Like all of Dumont's novels, there is an abundance of love between them. In spite of their personal failings, it's their relationships with each other that make her books. Yet here, beneath all this, is a deeper political narrative about being Indigenous and living on a reserve in Canada. This time she even delves into the misogyny of men that plays out in all cultures. Add to that a mysterious demon creature, and this is some read!

At thirty-six, Rose Okanese has two girls and a husband who is absent emotionally and financially. Sixteen year old Sarah is sassy, solid, and a brilliant student.  Eight year old Callie is wise beyond her years, but still her mother's baby. Her husband, Gilbert, is a rock and roll musician who is often on the road touring. Rose has managed to ignore Gilbert's philandering until she comes home one day and discovers her cousin and Gilbert in bed together. She begins running while chasing this cousin in a jealous rage.  It is the beginning of Rose's metamorphosis. She wakes up the next morning without a car so she can't get to work and ends up getting fired from her job at a pig farm. It's as bottom as it gets, for soon, Rose ends up working at the band office. New romance in the air for her when Taylor, a young, urban, educated friend returns to the reserve and wins an election for chief. This story line of Rose coming into her own would have satisfied me, but there is so much more going on. 

Sarah and her best friend have unwittingly performed a ceremony that has woken up a dream woman who turns out to be an evil demon creature. Soon Sarah, her friend, and all the woman on the reserve are having nightmares as the dream woman invades their sleep and takes control of them. Eventually Rose figures out that her dead mother, who has been haunting her while she runs, is protecting her from the dream person. That leaves Rose and Jane, Sarah's friend's mother, responsible for saving everyone on the reserve.

By the time it is over, the men on the reserve learn an important lesson about women. Even Gilbert begins to realize how he has failed his family and the magnitude of what he has lost. 

This novel is just riveting. I started and finished it in one day while I was camping in the high mountains. I can't remember the last time I stayed up late reading by flashlight to finish a book.


  1. Wow, this sounds like a page-turner!

  2. I have never heard of Dawn Dumont. I will definitely check her out. Thanks!

    1. If you haven't read any of her work, I recommend starting with Nobody Cries At Bingo. It is brilliant!