Review: Five Little Indians by Michelle Good

He thought of Lucy, shorn and scabby. He thought of Wilfred, alone in the dorm without him. He thought of that big cop who’d dragged him back to the school the last time – the one who wouldn’t believe him about what Brother was doing. He thought of his mom. A long, low sob fell out of I’m and the tears flowed.

Five Little Indians

Summary and Thoughts

Winner of the 2018 HarperCollins/UBC Prize for Best New Fiction Michelle Good’s FIVE LITTLE INDIANS, told from the alternating points of view of five former residential school students as they struggle to survive in 1960s Vancouver—one finding her way into the dangerous world of the American Indian movement; one finding unexpected strength in motherhood; and one unable to escape his demons – and the bonds of friendship that sustain them, inspired by the author’s experiences.


Do yourself a favor and pick up this book. This story, broken up into various perspectives of indigenous survivors of the British Columbia residential schools of the 1950s, shows the many paths and impacts of trauma in the most devastating and beautiful of ways. I truly felt as though I experienced the whole, full lives of each of these characters, finding them all engrossing and emotionally evocative. Good is exceptional at capturing complex, heart-wrenching moments with the greatest of delicacy, her specificity of language in her descriptions immersive and light. There is not one thing about this book I dislike and I highly recommend picking this book up not only to learn more about this horrific event in history, but also to learn more about writing and people in general. Violence, love, hope, and desperation can all be found within these pages, and I am so glad I got the chance to read this tale this month. I’ll be thinking about this book for a while . . .

Photo Courtesy of Goodreads

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