Book Review: The Removed

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5) The Removed – Brandon Hobson 

I picked up this book because I am attending Brandon Hobson’s session at the 2022 #antiracistbookfest at the end of April and I like to read as the author’s books beforehand, so I have some context for the discussion. I very much enjoyed reading this novel even though the story was a difficult one at times with very real, and very tragic characters. 

Hobson tells the story of an indigenous family who lost their 15 year old son to police gun violence. Each chapter is told from a specific character’s point-of -view; mother, father, older sister, younger brother and is interspersed with Cherokee mythology and storytelling. Each character had a tragic aspect to their story but they were all believable and I found myself sympathetic to each for different reasons. 

I especially appreciated the, what I will call, ‘magical realism’ utilized throughout this novel. I am not sure if ‘magical realism’ is exactly the right way to describe how Hobson utilized the ‘miraculous’ throughout this narrative, but I found the spiritual/magical aspects of this story believable in a way that usually illudes me when I’m reading this kind of literature. Hobson’s use of the mythology and spiritual nature of the Cherokee worldview brought an imaginativeness to the story that made it both intriguing and unique.  

I highly recommend reading this book, it’s beautifully written and tells a poignant, important, and timely story that we all need to hear.

Read on my friends!

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