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I’m not going to say a lot about this punch of a memoir, because I firmly believe you should just read it. The writing is so immediate and cutting that describing it feels like sanding down its edges. Trauma ricochets through the author’s family line like a loose bullet. Her father was evil, her mother careless, her relationships with men self-destructive. She writes of her own mental illness, the ways and reasons she feels crazy. Searing & urgent, her story, as she says, is sacred; it has purpose and meaning beyond her own life. It is alive, pulsing, a powerful, transformational force that moves through her. It is not, as she says, a way of transcending pain, but of reconciling with it. She doesn’t forgive trauma, but she transubstantiates it.— Cathy Taylor
“In a time of memoirs that help a reader understand vulnerability and the experience of facing down fear, Terese Marie Mailhot's cathartic, moving Heart Berries is one of the bravest and most fearless of such books. Her coming-of-age on a First Nation reservation, Seabird Island in Canada, is particular to that vividly evoked place, but also carries larger, universal lessons for the human spirit and its survival. A necessary book.”
— Rick Simonson, The Elliott Bay Book Company, Seattle, WA
“Heart Berries achieves that most elusive and sacred goal of literature: to make us feel less alone in the world. With a beautiful and original voice, Mailhot applies the precision of a poet to her prose. Each sentence feels necessary, each paragraph vital, as she grapples with daughterhood, motherhood, sisterhood, wifehood, and, finally, selfhood. This is a book written against forgetting, against losing one’s self to the needs and desires of others. But this isn’t self-help; this is carefully crafted literature, the disciplined work of a masterful artist.”
— Tina Ontiveros, Klindt's Booksellers, The Dalles, OR