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Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land by Toni Jensen

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ARC was provided by NetGalley and Ballantine Books in exchange for an honest review.

This review is being published before the release date (September 8th, 2020)

Content/Trigger Warnings: Police brutality, gun violence, violence, homicide, racism, microaggressions, talk of human trafficking, assault, rape, domestic violence, child abuse, animal abuse, harassment, mentions of murder, death, historical and cultural trauma, alcoholism, drug abuse, mentions of PTSD, and so much more!

Wow, this memoir is so, so powerful. Friends, I’m shaken and I can’t put enough emphasis on how important it is for you to practice self-care while reading this memoir. I know I have the content warnings listed above, but there’s literally content warnings for anything and everything you can think of. If I had been in a better head space, I would have finished this memoir a lot faster than the time it took me to actual finish.

Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land is a memoir in the form of essays. These essays are a wide range of topics from domestic violence to police brutality and so many more. There’s a large plethora of topics, each one packed with emotions and hardships. You also see many major events that have happened throughout the years like the DAPL protests, the brutal murders of George Floyd, Trayvon Martin, and many others who lost their lives from police brutality. Again, I can’t stress enough how important it is to practice self-care while reading this book. All of these essays are through the author’s own experiences as a Métis woman, as a survivor. Jensen has a way of writing these essays to convey the weight of each topic. Probably the most unique thing throughout this whole book is the emphasis of language. The importance of language and how language has the power to change everything.

“In other words, like the birds, in many ways, I’ve come a long way to see a place much like one I already know—I’ve come a long way to find another version of home.”

I’m usually not someone who reads a lot of memoirs, biographies, autobiographies, etc… Usually due to never really connecting with the book or the things talked about. Plus, it’s not my place to really comment about someone else’s experiences. However, this memoir… I was sobbing and there were many parts of this memoir that I personally connected to because of surviving my own experiences of violence and hardships. The narration is beautiful, it reads very smoothly, and flows with general ease. I think the only issue I had with this book was some of the timeline jumping. There were parts where I had to reread the section to remember where in the timeline we were. So that was my only issue with the memoir. Otherwise, it was really easy to get sucked into this book.

Overall, this was a great read. I truly think if I had been in a better head space, I would have flown through this this memoir. So again, please practice self-care because there’s content and trigger warnings for anything, and everything in this book. If you are in the right head space, I highly recommend picking this up especially if you’re trying to see the world and the events of the world through a different perspective than you own. There’s a lot of raw emotions throughout this book and it’s not an easy read, but one that’s needed.

The quotes above were taken from an ARC and are subject to change upon publication.

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2 thoughts on “Carry: A Memoir of Survival on Stolen Land by Toni Jensen

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