This haunting, emotionally resonant story delivers us into the world of Alice, a single mother raising her three young daughters on the rez where she grew up. Alice has never had an easy life, but has managed to get by with the support of her best friend, Gideon, and her family. When an unthinkable loss occurs, Alice is forced onto a different path, one that will challenge her belief in herself and the world she thought she knew. The Evolution of Alice is the kaleidoscopic story of one woman’s place within the web of community. Peopled with unforgettable characters and told from multiple points of view, this is a novel where spirits are alive, forgiveness is possible, and love is the only thing that matters.
“I felt I was holding my breath as I read, because of the great sorrow, mysteries, wisdom, and love in this book. Beautifully written, and such memorable characters!”
–Dora Dueck, award-winning author of This Hidden Thing and What You Get at Home
“In The Evolution of Alice, Winnipeg writer David Robertson has crafted an important and contemporary story. Introducing us to Alice – a single mother living on the rez, who suffers an unthinkable loss and then has to reconstruct her life – Robertson writes feelingly of casual cruelties and everyday kindnesses. The novel follows multiple points-of-view, tracing overlapping, sometimes unexpected connections of family and community, but it is held together by Robertson’s own voice, which is immediate, unflinching, and emotionally generous.”
–Alison Gillmor, culture columnist for the Winnipeg Free Press.
“After senseless tragedy, young mother Alice is pushed to the edge. Held together by her friend, and unlikely hero Gideon, Alice wanders through her evolution with remarkable grace. Her sadness is palpable, and her story is raw and biting, yet somehow soft and gentle too. There is hope in Alice. You will love her and her young daughters, but mostly, you will love the fierce way she loves them.
Robertson weaves seemingly separate points of view in to a chorus of voices that sing our lost ones home. The Evolution of Alice is a story that uplifts, a tragedy not unusual but freshly told, and a read that will echo long after you’ve put it down.”
-Katherena Vermette, Governor-General–award winner for North End Love Songs
“Pulsing at the heart of this novel are the warmly rendered inflections of storytelling voices like Gideon’s, at once reflective, vivid, and vernacular. And at the novel’s core, the broken but ultimately healing rhythms of Alice’s “evolution” – her cycles of loving and suffering, of her family’s living, dying, and ultimately hoping to live anew — bring contemporary experience on the reservation and in the big city achingly, joyfully, and always pungently alive.”
-Neil Besner, Professor of English, Provost and Vice-President, Academic, The University of Winnipeg