Real Ones

From the author of the nationally bestselling Strangers saga comes a heartrending story of two Michif sisters who must face their past trauma when their mother is called out for false claims to Indigenous identity.

June and her sister, lyn, are NDNs—real ones.

Lyn has her pottery artwork, her precocious kid, Willow, and the uncertain terrain of her midlife to keep her mind, heart and hands busy. June, a Métis Studies professor, yearns to uproot from Vancouver and move. With her loving partner, Sigh, and their faithful pup, June decides to buy a house in the last place on earth she imagined she’d end up: back home in Winnipeg with her family.

But then into lyn and June’s busy lives a bomb drops: their estranged and very white mother, Renee, is called out as a “pretendian.” Under the name (get this) Raven Bearclaw, Renee had topped the charts in the Canadian art world for winning awards and recognition for her Indigenous-style work.

The news is quickly picked up by the media and sparks an enraged online backlash. As the sisters are pulled into the painful tangle of lies their mother has told and the hurt she has caused, searing memories from their unresolved childhood trauma, which still manages to spill into their well curated adult worlds, come rippling to the surface.

In prose so powerful it could strike a match, real ones is written with the same signature wit and heart on display in The Break, The Strangers and The Circle. An energetic, probing and ultimately hopeful story, real ones pays homage to the long-fought, hard-won battles of Michif (Métis) people to regain ownership of their identity and the right to say who is and isn’t Métis.