Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden is a great book, although not particularly cheerful. Niska is welcoming her nephew, Xavier, back from World War 1 and he has been injured in the war; he lost his leg, he’s suffering mentally, his hearing is damaged, he’s addicted to morphine so it’s super sad. Niska lives off the land (they’re aboriginal if you must know) and she is going to take Xavier back up river to her home, which is a three day journey or “road”. On this journey, Xavier and Niska are retelling their stories; his of the war and hers of her childhood.
Three Day Road is sad because, really, you know Xavier might end up dying, it’s hard to tell if he’ll recover and the stories they tell are sad. Being in a war zone, for example, is definitely not a great place to be and it took it’s toll on Xavier. It’s also an unfortunate perspective that they touched on in the idea that Xavier (or his friend, Elijah) at one point commented on the fact that they joined the army because they wanted to be warriors again (I’m not generalizing, that’s just what was applicable for those characters) and mostly they were respected as such, but they knew that once they went back home that it wouldn’t probably be like that any more because aboriginal people have tragically not been treated very equality historically speaking. Elijah was Xavier’s best friend and he was very badly impacted by the war; his descent was even darker and more twisted than Xavier’s and he didn’t come home fro the war and that weigh very heavily on Xavier’s heart
This is my second book by Joseph Boyden and it was another very good read. I think his popularity as an author is well deserved. I also thought the ending was intriguing because it was a lot more poetic/metaphorical than I had been anticipating. Boyden kind of left the end open ended where the characters are still on their journey but it might be a little different than you expected at the beginning. Any ways, it’s really good so you should check it out.
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