Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden (Read 64 times)

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Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
Jun 22nd, 2022 at 11:06am
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This is the tale of two young Ojibwe/Cree men sent off into the nastiness of World War 1 with a Canadian Rifle Regiment.† They served as snipers due to their prowess as hunters and sharpshooters.† It recounts the return of one of these men, shattered physically and spiritually by war, trying to make sense of his experience while his elderly aunt - his only remaining relative - paddles him to their home in the remote bush just south of Hudson Bay.†

I'm only partway through the book, as yet, but I'm finding it thoroughly engaging.† It depicts, in vivid detail, both the horrors of WW1 AND the vanishing lifestyle of Native peoples in the northern wilds during the decades preceding that global conflict. I am finding it to be both a fascinating perspective on the conflict and a poignant account of the challenges war to the human spirit.

I think fans of military history and, especially, folks interested in First Nation cultures will enjoy this book.  See: (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links) † Highly recommended!

Jimbo† †Cool
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Location: Toronto
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Re: Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
Reply #1 - Jul 4th, 2022 at 9:12am
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Iíd second this recommendation.

Itís loosely based on the true story of the Ďbestí sniper of World War I, Francis Pegahmagabow. (You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)

Students in Grade 10 at a local high school were reading this book as part of a unit on World War I† (a significant defining event for the Canadian identity), because it ticked a lot of boxes: portrayal of the horrors of war, history of WWI, the experience for Canadians in Europe, drug addiction, treatment of indigenous peoples by non-indigenous,† and the indigenous experience abroad and at home on the land.

I ended up reading the first half of it to help tutor the son of a friend, for whom English is a second language. Itís really well-written. I only stopped because it was a bit dark and I wanted something lighter at the time, and he no longer needed my help.

Particularly impressed by the canoe trip through the forest fire. Great detail there.

The author (Joseph Boyden) made some dubious claims to indigenous heritage which got him into trouble, deservedly, I think. But that doesnít detract from his skill.† He wrote two other books in this trilogy that follow the same Swampy Cree (Mushkego) family, the Birds: Through Black Spruce, and The Orenda.
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