Through Black Spruce
Based on both the work of Gil Adamson and Joseph Boyden's new novel, Through Black Spruce, one may come to the realization that all Canadian writers are pleasing to read. Given these examples, one wouldn't be incorrect.
Boyden (Three Day Road) tells the story of a First Nation family in the upper reaches of Ontario, somewhere near James Bay (a tributary of the greater Hudson Bay). Will Bird is a Cree bush pilot--with his seaplane he flies people deeper into difficult-to-reach outlying and wilderness places. Living in Moose Factory, Ontario, his family includes his sister and his two twenty-something nieces, who provide the mayhem and drama that move the story forward. Bird is involved in a kind of Hatfield and McCoy blood feud with the town drug pusher, Marius, that results in Will being beaten into a coma.
This story is told in chaptersalternating between the comatose Will and his niece Annand wanders from Moose Factory to Toronto, Montreal, and Manhattan and back up to the backcountry around James Bay. For what it’s worth, Sherman Alexie effuses: I don’t usually blurb friends, but Joseph’s book is so great that I have to break my rules. Buy this book; read this book. You will love it, too.