Monday, July 20, 2009

ON BOOKS ~ Three Day Road...

MizB asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page.
  • Share the title of the book the teaser comes from…that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

From pg. 188 of THREE DAY ROAD by Joseph Boyden (fiction)...

"I look around at the ruins and wonder if this place will ever heal. I try to imagine the countryside here in ten years, in fifty years, in a hundred years, but all I can see in my mind are men crawling in and out of the tunnels in these hills like angry and tired ants, thinking of new ways to kill the other."

Joseph Boyden's debut novel is very striking. He knows how to pull you in to his written world through the eyes of his characters. Sadly, this being a work of historical fiction, his written world is not much of a fabrication of the world at war with each other. He tells a story of the first World War from the perspective of a young Canadian soldier of Cree Indian descent.

Xavier's experience of the war is told via memories as he succumbs to morphine induced numbness upon his return from France. His story is intertwined with that of his Aunt Niska who lives in the bush and knows little of the ways of white men and their war, but relies on the way of her ancestors to try to heal her nephew's pain. And this book is full of pain.

The descriptions of the atrocities on battlefields become less disturbing as the reader is desensitized like the soldiers who lived it. But the emotional pain from the way the mind must deal with the things war creates is vicious. It is hard to explain why this book is enjoyable. I looked forward to picking it up each day even though I knew I would be dragged in to an ugly place. I think the contrast of Niska's practical lessons helped to put everything in perspective and ground the reader. No laughs in this one. But lots of appreciation for those who fight for better days.


kayerj said...

wow, this sounds like a powerful read. read my teaser here

Beth F said...

This is a new to me title. I like that teaser, and I bet I'd like the book.

Margot said...

This book sounds very dark and I'm surprised that it has pulled you in. That is the real teaser to me.

Anonymous said...

I was going to saw it sounds powerful too, but kaye beat me to it!

Wanda said...

That teaser certainly packs a punch — hope to get to this one myself, eventually.

Jenn Escalona said...

I was compelled to run out and buy this book a couple of years ago after it came up in one of my book groups.

I find Boyden's writing style sublime. For a first time novelist, he has already mastered the unreliable narrator. You alternate between feeling bad for the protagonist, Xavier, as he walks among strangers for the first time, and admiring him for his adherence to his background and ethics.

I think my favorite aspect of the book was the relationship between Xavier and Elijah. As cousins who discover the dark places in their hearts when they go off to Germany, not only do they get into a fundamental disagreement between family members, they also stand on opposite sides of a battle between war and peace, humanity and inhumanity, and past and present.

Love, love, love, this book and couldn't recommend it more highly. I'm so glad you introduced it to your readers!