Green Grass Running Water, written by Canadian author Thomas King is a meandering narrative that frequently switches between the stories of the characters. It is told from the perspective of 4 elders who had escaped a hospital with the goal of fixing a part of the world. I have to admit that I did find the story interesting but the style of writing was a bit slow – or maybe it just seemed slow as I read chapters while watching the stellar, Olympic swimming of our Canadian women!
The story connects the elders and the trickster coyote with the lives of Lionel, Eli, Alberta as they come together for the Sun Dance in Blossom, Alberta. Lionel is struggling in his dead end job selling electronics as he tries to figure out what his goals are. Eli has left teaching at the University of Toronto behind and lives in his mother’s cabin thwarting the progress of the dam that was built changing the landscape of the reserve. Alberta yearns for a child but not necessarily a husband although she is involved with two men.
Although I enjoyed the overall story, I have to admit that I did find it a bit slow and confusing at times. It is not a linear storyline and there are so many characters telling their own histories. The role of the coyote is ever present yet it seems that he has little voice despite having a big impact at the end. Perhaps the story is not to blame but the timing – I have been reading chapters while watching the stellar swimming as the Canadian women make history at the Rio Olympic Games – go Penny Oleksiak!!