Oh my, I'm not sure where to begin. So, I'll just plunge right in. This book is wonderful. It was free on Amazon, and when I checked the reviews before downloading, I saw that after 95 of them, it was STILL standing at over 4 stars!
I had to find out why. So I read it. In a day--and it was a workday.
I am going to paste my review from Amazon and Goodreads.
"I have read other reviews, and its all been said. My words fail me--to
articulate a unique thought. Yet, I am compelled to add to the heap of
praise for "Whale Song".
It has it all. The love of family,
coming of age, the pain of loss, the bitterness of blame, and the healing
miracle of forgiveness.
All this played out among characters so fully developed and fleshed out that I could visualize each and every one of them.
The story made me laugh and cry, made me angry, and made me rejoice.
And if you aren't looking for a good story, then read it for Tardif's prose.
I will be purchasing a print book for my library, and I don't do that very often anymore. :-)"
Tardif's prose is beautiful...absolutely beautiful. The Indian folklore added a magical element to the book, and the characters were incredibly real; I felt their pain.
The themes that this book took on were varied and written well. Bullying at school, racism, assisted suicide, the right to die...and forgiveness.
Most of the story was set in the early 1980s as the haunting past of the MC, who was only 11years old when the story began. Looking back, at the age of 24, she finally comes to recall the memories of the day her mother died--which had been taken away from her by "hysterical amnesia" due to the trauma.
I don't want to add more and chance a spoiler. I will just let it go at this: I have shuffled my list of top ten all-time favorite books, ever. And this book is now among them. :-)