The Removed

the removedIt has been fifteen years since Ray-Ray Echota was killed in a police shooting. The Echotas are not doing okay. Grief over Ray-Ray has colored each remaining family member’s existence.

Maria is still journaling through her emotions while taking care of her husband, Ernest, as he slips into Alzheimers.

Sonja spends her time in solitude, establishing relationships with younger, unsavory men.

Edgar is a meth addict, spiraling downhill as he has troubles with his live-in girlfriend, Desiree.

I noticed . . .

I noticed that Hobson has strongly wove in Cherokee mythology in the story.

I also noticed that this book has a loose, ambiguous ending.

I noticed how much sunshine Maria and Ernest’s foster child brought into their life.

I wondered . . .

I wondered if Ernest would continue to improve or immediately reverse back into his Alzheimers.

I wondered about the mysterious Tsala. I never really successfully integrated that into my understanding of the story.

I wondered about the ongoing symbolism in the book.

It reminded me of . . .

For some reason, the dreamlike quality of this book reminded me Mexican Gothic.

Two excellent quotes . . .

This quote on death is the perfect attitude in my mind:

An elder had once taught not to be afraid of death because there is no death–there is only a change of worlds.

I also thought of the Native American religions and how connected to the Earth these religions are. I loved the optimism in this quote about connection to the Earth:

Beloved, the Earth will always speak to us when we need to hear her the most.

Both these beautiful quotes are enriching and helpful in teaching us how to live.

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