Top positive review
Storytelling at its Finest
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.