Monday, 29 February 2016

Review: Black Apple by Joan Crate

Black Apple
by Joan Crate
Publisher:  Simon & Schuster
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 336
Release Date: March 1st, 2016
Purchase: [Chapters/Indigo] [Amazon]
A dramatic and lyrical coming-of-age novel about a young Blackfoot girl who grows up in the residential school system on the Canadian prairies.

Torn from her home and delivered to St. Mark’s Residential School for Girls by government decree, young Rose Marie finds herself in an alien universe where nothing of her previous life is tolerated, not even her Blackfoot name. For she has entered into the world of the Sisters of Brotherly Love, an order of nuns dedicated to saving the Indigenous children from damnation. Life under the sharp eye of Mother Grace, the Mother General, becomes an endless series of torments, from daily recitations and obligations to chronic sickness and inedible food. And then there are the beatings. All the feisty Rose Marie wants to do is escape from St. Mark’s. How her imagination soars as she dreams about her lost family on the Reserve, finding in her visions a healing spirit that touches her heart. But all too soon she starts to see other shapes in her dreams as well, shapes that warn her of unspoken dangers and mysteries that threaten to engulf her. And she has seen the rows of plain wooden crosses behind the school, reminding her that many students have never left here alive.

Joan Crate's Black Apple is, regrettably, a title I hadn't come across until it was highly recommended to me by Jackie from Simon & Schuster Canada. Upon reading it's synopsis, I was certain this was going to be a title that moved me.

"Instead, a downpour of daylight. She sat up, letting it soak through her, warm and delicious."

A coming of age tale set in the Canadian prairies, Black Apple follows the life of Rose Marie, a young girl who finds herself alien in her new surroundings. Rose Marie was a phenomenal character! It's been a long time since a character has emotionally moved me as greatly as Rose Marie has, and it was a welcome feeling (tears, smiles, and everything in between). The writing in Black Apple was lyrical, mesmerizing, and captivating, and although this is the first time I've read a title by Joan Crate, I am assured that I will be staying tuned to what Joan has next in store for readers.

"So much had happened, was happening around her, all the people, every kind-"

Moving, captivating, and the book everyone needs to read this year, Black Apple by Joan Crate was absolutely inspiring! 

4 .5/ 5 Cupcakes

This title was provided to the blogger by the publisher/author in exchange for an honest review. No payment was received/accept in exchange for this review/post. The blogger requests that this review not be reposted or edited with the blogger's permission. The thoughts and words expressed in this review/post are explicitly the blogger's.


  1. Black Apple is a book I've been seeing around a lot on the blogs. I'm glad to see you chose to review it. It sounds like a different kind of book but a good one. Thanks.

  2. Great review :D

  3. ~Lola Book Lover~29 February 2016 at 10:36

    Short and straight to the point - Wendy! I think Black Apple sounds like an inspiring book and I'm positively over the moon that it impacted you so well!