Three Day Road by Joseph Boyden

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Synopsis

Set in Canada and the battlefields of France and Belgium, Three-Day Road is a mesmerizing novel told through the eyes of Niska—a Canadian Oji-Cree woman living off the land who is the last of a line of healers and diviners—and her nephew Xavier.

At the urging of his friend Elijah, a Cree boy raised in reserve schools, Xavier joins the war effort. Shipped off to Europe when they are nineteen, the boys are marginalized from the Canadian soldiers not only by their native appearance but also by the fine marksmanship that years of hunting in the bush has taught them. Both become snipers renowned for their uncanny accuracy. But while Xavier struggles to understand the purpose of the war and to come to terms with his conscience for the many lives he has ended, Elijah becomes obsessed with killing, taking great risks to become the most accomplished sniper in the army. Eventually the harrowing and bloody truth of war takes its toll on the two friends in different, profound ways. Intertwined with this account is the story of Niska, who herself has borne witness to a lifetime of death—the death of her people.

In part inspired by the legend of Francis Pegahmagabow, the great Indian sniper of World War I, Three-Day Road is an impeccably researched and beautifully written story that offers a searing reminder about the cost of war.

 

About Joseph Boyden

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JOSEPH BOYDEN's first novel, Three Day Road, published in eleven languages, was selected for the Today show book club and was a finalist for Canada's Governor General's Award for Fiction. He divides his time between northern Ontario and Louisiana.
 
Published April 25, 2006 by Penguin Books. 354 pages
Genres: History, War, Literature & Fiction, Biographies & Memoirs, Travel. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Three Day Road

Kirkus Reviews

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Two Cree Indians from eastern Canada experience WWI trench warfare in Canadian Boyden's first novel (following his story collection, Born with a Tooth, 2001).

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Three Day Road

Publishers Weekly

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When Cree Indians Xavier Bird and Elijah Whiskeyjack join the Canadian Army in 1915, they expect to go to France, become warriors and kill Germans. What they don't expect is that the war will d

Mar 21 2005 | Read Full Review of Three Day Road

Publishers Weekly

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When Cree Indians Xavier Bird and Elijah Whiskeyjack join the Canadian Army in 1915, they expect to go to France, become warriors and kill Germans.

Mar 21 2005 | Read Full Review of Three Day Road

Curled Up

Xavier Bird and Elijah Wiskeyjack have spent most of their young lives hunting and fishing in the bush around Moose Factory, Ontario.

Jun 15 2015 | Read Full Review of Three Day Road

AuthorsDen

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