Y'all. I just finished a book that spoke deeply to my heart. The Removed by Brandon Hobson. It was definitely a deep, moving story that I think will haunt me for quite some time.
I love to read fiction books that make me think. I love those that offer an important voice and viewpoint to our world today. This book does all of that.
It's a book of one story but many stories but really one story. It centers around a Cherokee family who lost a son 15 years before in a police shooting. It's the story of their grief, not just their personal grief, but the grief of the Cherokee people as the descendants of those removed from their homeland and forced to walk the trail of tears. It's a story of injustice, the desire for vengeance, and of moving on while holding on to our past and allowing it to heal us.
Within the book itself, are myths and stories of the Cherokee people along with some new ones the author, himself a Cherokee, tells. He pulls together the physical world with the spiritual, the living with the dead, and the ancestors with the current family.
Though the book deals with trauma, both personal and generational, along with all of the after effects, it is a book of hope and healing. A book of the remarkable resilience of a people. As I was reading, my heart at times was full of pain, grief, and a deep sadness. And yet now, after completing the book, I feel uplifted and grateful. As someone who is half Cherokee, I left the story feeling proud and remembering those who came before.