In this powerful and mesmerizing debut, Joseph Boyden reinvents the tradition of Great War epics like All Quiet on the Western Front and Birdsong. It is 1919 and Niska, an Oji- Cree medicine woman, has left her home in the bush of northern Ontario to retrieve Xavier Bird, her only relation, who has returned from the trenches of Europe. Gravely wounded and addicted to morphine, Xavier recounts how he and his best friend, Elijah Whiskeyjack, prowled the battlefields as snipers of enormous skillâ?and how the circumstances of their deadly craft led them to very different fates. Told with unblinking focus, this is a stunning tale of brutality, survival, and rebirth that marks the arrival of a prodigious new talent.
Xavier Bird and Elijah Whiskeyjack are Cree Indians from Canada who serve as snipers on the battlefields of France in World War I. Xavier is sickened by the killing he is forced to do, but Elijah--high on morphine--finds himself perversely enjoying his role: an addiction to death that threatens his sanity. Then an incident charged with violence and betrayal leads to the end of their long friendship. Back home after the war, the pain of Xavier's wounds--including an amputated leg--have led him to his own problem with morphine. His devoted aunt, Niska, a Cree woman who has never wavered from their traditional culture, tries to helps him to come to terms with his war experiences and to draw on the strength of his people to bring him back from the brink. THREE DAY ROAD is a powerful story with the ring of complete authenticity; it is based on the true exploits of a famous Indian World War I hero, Francis Pegahmagabow.
- Fiction + Literature Themes
- Conflicts + Dualities, Society + Social Issues, War + Military, Peoples + Cultures, Family + Friendship, Human Qualities + Behavior, Literary Genres + Types of Novels
- April 25, 2006
- April 25, 2006
- Joseph Boyden