Through Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden
Viking, New York, 2009
From my library hold list. Winner of the 2008 ScotiaBank Giller Prize.
A follow-up to Boyden’s first novel, Three Day Road, this book tells the story of a Frist Nations family through the voices of two members.
Will Bird, a bush pilot with a wild past, lies in a coma in the hospital in his home town, Moose Factory, Ontario. His niece Annie, after returning home from a journey she took to Montreal and New York in search of her sister Suzanne, sits by his bedside.
In his dreams Will revisits his life and tells Annie of the distant and recent past. Having been told that talking to her uncle may help him recover, Annie tells him stories. She tells of her memories growing up, of her journey in search of herself and her connections to her family. As each of these wounded souls reveals their past a story grows, of history, of betrayal and of resilience.
Boyden writes with humor and with a deep understanding of the hidden nature of places and of people. In the end this is a story of forgiveness, of family and of self.