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Having Faith In The Polar Girls' Prison

3.65 of 5 stars 3.65  ·  rating details  ·  51 ratings  ·  5 reviews
Against the stark and haunting landscape of Canada's Far North, fifteen-year-old Trista chronicles the events of her life from her room in the Polar Girls' Prison. Caught in the decline of sexual abuse, drunkenness, and failed motherhood, Trista tries to make sense of her past, especially the events that led her to jail. With heartfelt compassion and rare insight, the stun ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published February 24th 2009 by Viking Canada
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Having Faith In The Polar Girls’ Prison is a story with a setting and characters not often written about. In the far north of Canada, where it can be dark for days on end depending on the season, there is a small prison called ‘The Polar Girls’ Prison’. In that prison is Trista, a 15-year-old girl who has only been there a few weeks and has just given birth to a premature daughter she named Faith.

Trista, like many Inuvialuit girls in the remote north, had childhoods which felt more like a game o
Jan 16, 2011 Alexis rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2011
I'm not sure why this book didn't get more attention when it came out. The book is told from the point of view of 15-year-old Trista, who lives in the far north, past Yellowknife, in a place called Jackfish Bay. Trista has just given birth to a daughter, and is in a juvenile facility they call "the polar girls prison".

The novel is narrated through Trista's voice and is written in a weird sentence structure that forces the reader to really pay attention. Some parts are heartbreaking to read. I th
Jul 26, 2011 Sally added it
For her first novel, I think Cathleen With took some risks both by writing about an otherwise never-written about far, far, far north native community plagued with abuse problems of every kind and by using a stream of consciousness style of narration. I think it really paid off, and that this was a very impressive first novel, but I definitely wouldn't recommend this book to everybody.
This book explores the beautiful Mackenzie Delta and the hard conditions facing youth in the NWT. A gorgeous book.
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Cathleen With is a Vancouver-based writer and teacher.

Her first book of short stories, "skids", was published in 2006 with Arsenal Pulp Press. Many of the stories are based on her friends’ voices, some now gone, and Cathleen's own experiences battling addictions and depression in her youth.

"Having Faith in the Polar Girls' Prison" is her first novel and was published in 2009 with Penguin Group Ca
More about Cathleen With...

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