Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Like many settler Canadians, I am on a remarkable journey started just this year to connect with a past that was hidden from me about the atrocities towards First Nations people. I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
Having read and enjoyed Boyden’s Through Black Spruce a few years ago, I needed to explore more about the controversy around author Joseph Boyden and the appropriation accusations that have been made against him. I didn’t expect that Boyden’s book Three Day Road would feel as important to me as The Odyssey in terms of its place in Canadian literature. I was delighted to read Boyden’s masterful and painful character revelation and the searing hot pain of alienation, war and betrayal.
I think the argument goes that Boyden isn’t native enough to be revealing the sacred secrets of ritual and belief. Perhaps my point of view doesn’t matter, but I found this book to be accessible, to be inviting into a culture not my own, and above all, to be a really really good story.
I will recommend this to all of the students in my secondary school library at the senior level. There are mild suggestions of sex, and the issues of violence and drug addiction are more appropriate for mature readers.