Indie Review: Courage and Complicity
When is Enough, Enough?
Claudette Languedoc’s book Courage and Complicity, an engaging tale about a young Caucasian female teacher who takes a position in an Indian residential school in Canada, weighs heavy on my mind.
Consider this your trigger warning: You can’t go into this book without some level of mental preparation. The author writes about the students’ assimilation and the school staff who rape young girls and misuse their authority to abuse the children. These topics are as old as time, yet as I read Mary Brock’s story and closed the book on that final page, my immediate thoughts were that of Mary’s quandary. Should she have done more for her academic charges? Or had she done all she could to protect the girls from their rapists, the boys from shame, and an entire schoolyard of Indian youth from assimilation? The relationships between Mary, her colleagues, and her students left me uncertain who was protecting whom.
A timely novel, this Courage and Complicity, of racism, morality, ethical standards, and a glimpse into Canada’s (recent) past. A book of choices, Languedoc’s novel presents readers with a first-person platform on which to stand and decide – when is enough, enough? And upon whom does that burden rest?
Article originally Published in the August/September 2020 Issue The Historic Edition.