Tilly and the Crazy Eights By Monique Gray Smith

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. 

To begin, I liked it so much that I plan to pick up and read Monique Gray Smith's prequel to this, Tilly: A Story of Hope and Resiliance. I don't think it's necessary to read them in order. It will just be delightful to spend time with this character again and get to know her better.  
In this novel, Tilly and a group of indigenous elders head out on a road trip to Albuquerque for the world's biggest Powwow.

The trip originated in the women's stitch and bitch group with Sarah, one of the ailing members, talking about her dream of dancing at the Powwow. Then two older men join them. They managed to raise enough money for the trip by having film nights and baked goods sales. Each one of them has a specific bucket list item they want to cross off while on their journey. Tilly, the youngest, left her husband and children to look after them and be their driver. 

Shortly after they are on the road they name themselves Tilly and the crazy Eights. We get to know a lot about each of the characters as they travel from Vancouver, Canada, to New Mexico. I ended up caring for all of them although I wish Mable had had more of a presence.

It's a coming of age novel for the older crowd. Sure it's loaded with laughter and tenderness, but there is also loss, heartache and romance. A lot of learning and growing takes place. Each of them has issues to grapple with. Not the least are their histories of residential schools. I ended up weepy at numerous points in this book.

Ultimately it's a heartwarming feel good read about a group of people who are survivors. What more can you want?

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