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Customer reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
Three Day Road
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Showing 1-10 of 122 reviews(5 star). See all 140 reviews
on March 10, 2016
Xavier Bird, and his friend Elijah Whiskeyjack, from the James Bay area of northern Ontario, are soldiers and snipers fighting in the trenches of WWI. At the opening of the book, Elijah has been killed, and Xavier is wounded and addicted to morphine, and has been sent home. He is met at the train station by his aunt Niska, one of the last Cree still living the traditional life, who has come to take Xavier home via a three-day canoe trip.

I chose to read this book because my writing teachers presented examples of especially gripping opening chapters. I was so sucked in by just the first two pages that I had to find out where the story went. I was not disappointed. This is not a story you read - it is a story you experience.

The author deftly weaves three distinct storylines - the current story of the trip home, Xavier's experiences in Europe, and Niska's early life. I found myself equally drawn to Niska's evolving spiritual power, and to Xavier's parallel coming of age.

The title, "Three Day Road," refers to both the canoe trip home, and also to the Cree journey after death. As I watched Xavier battle his inner demons, it kept me in suspense until the very end, wondering which three day road he was travelling.

Storytelling at it's finest.
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on February 24, 2017
Initially I thought that this book was disjointed but after a few chapters I became hooked. A book that tells about two people (aunt and nephew) on a journey of healing - she of her past (late 19th / early 20th c) and he of WW1 which robbed him of his dignity and health. During the journey I came to admire the older auntie and pity the younger man. Thoroughly enjoyed, without giving up too much of this story. It is a book that you just want to read and read some more. An excellent author who engages the reader.
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on October 6, 2016
It always startles me to think that there were Native Canadians serving in the World Wars. Britain and France needed saving and both were well served by native enlisted men. Only how were Native Canadians treated prior to or after those wars? Anyway, a young Cree man is returning, badly wounded, from WWI. He is brought by train to the western coast of James Bay and there he waits for his aunt to arrive by canoe and take him to her home in the bush where she lives as a traditional Cree and healer of generations of healers before her. Death circles overhead the young man as they paddle homeward. The young man recalls the horrors of war and the exploits of he and his cousin. The aunt recalls the young lives of the two boys and we hear her thinking out her healing ways, such as choosing a story for its healing powers. It is a fascinating trip they take and I will not forget it.
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on February 6, 2018
Great book. Interesting and unique flow. It really shows the character development. It is relatively gory but that makes it very lively. It arrives safely. I expect it would arrive in a box instead of a pouch because I don't want my mailman to bend it to put in my mailbox. The mailman did bend it but the book was still safe and sound when I opened it.
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on December 5, 2016
Bought this book mostly because I needed it for school, but ended up genuinely loving the story. It's beautifully written, and the story is heart-wrenching and absolutely tragic. But it truly is a really beautiful book. I own the physical copy of this now too. Would highly recommend this to anyone who loves to read good writing.
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on July 20, 2015
Anyone contemplating going to war as a thrilling adventure would benefit greatly from reading the blood and guts facts, as well as the long-term effects of taking and losing lives, before signing on the dotted line. It is scary to think a person could get to the point of enjoying the sport of killing a so-called “enemy” - that one could become a hero in the game of war. Even the survivor in this story was not the winner. The rue hero was a woman of patience, wisdom and the power of story telling to cleanse and heal.
I much appreciate the writing of Joseph Boyden as he always enhances my understanding of aboriginal culture, which I think we should all value.
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on October 18, 2015
The Three Day Road is te story of three young Canadian Cree Indian snpers during World War 1. It should be required reading in every Canadian Novels course. It s a stunning report on the experiences of Canadian Indians at the beginning of the 20th century. The experiences of the young man named Whiskey-Jack will make you cheer in one instance and weep in the next. Buy this book. You won't regret it..
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on December 11, 2016
I love how the story of Three Day Road is rooted in ancient Oji-Cree traditions and teachings. Niska, the medicine woman, lives her whole life deeply connected to the land and these traditions. I love how Boyden captures the horror and travesty of war and what it does to innocent young men like Xavier and Elijah, making them either old or dead in a flash of time. But what I love best is the book’s last chapter when, at the end of the war, Niska and Xavier are in a sweat lodge on the banks of a river praying to Gitchi Manitou, the Great Spirit. Gitchi Manitou brings the spirit of Elijah into the sweat lodge so that Xavier can apologize to him and gives Niska a glimpse of the future so she can rest knowing that her nephew Xavier will survive.
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on September 12, 2014
The descriptions of the madness of life in the trenches of WWI were hard but important to read. The story of the Aboriginal friends was engrossing: their experiences as youth in residential schools, as best friends learning to survive and hunt in the Canadian wilderness, and as snipers in the army. Native mysticism is skillfully and beautifully woven into the fabric of the story. I finished the book a month ago and its effect still lingers.
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on January 5, 2018
Loved this book, it is one that really teaches you things- the perspective of the First Nations peoples and that of the white man living in the trenches during the first world war, an interesting time period. Read this before remenerebce day and have a deepened perspective of war, sensitivity and the beauty of cultures and Canadian history. Did not want to put it down!
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