Through Black Spruce

Through Black Spruce

A Novel

Book - 2009
Average Rating:
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A haunting novel about identity, love, and loss by the author of Three Day Road Will Bird is a legendary Cree bush pilot, now lying in a coma in a hospital in his hometown of Moose Factory, Ontario. His niece Annie Bird, beautiful and self-reliant, has returned from her own perilous journey to sit beside his bed. Broken in different ways, the two take silent communion in their unspoken kinship, and the story that unfolds is rife with heartbreak, fierce love, ancient blood feuds, mysterious disappearances, fires, plane crashes, murders, and the bonds that hold a family, and a people, together. As Will and Annie reveal their secrets—the tragic betrayal that cost Will his family, Annie’s desperate search for her missing sister, the famous model Suzanne—a remarkable saga of resilience and destiny takes shape. From the dangerous bush country of upper Canada to the drug-fueled glamour of the Manhattan club scene, Joseph Boyden tracks his characters with a keen eye for the telling detail and a rare empathy for the empty places concealed within the heart. Sure to appeal to readers of Louise Erdrich and Jim Harrison, Through Black Spruceestablishes Boyden as a writer of startling originality and uncommon power.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2009.
Edition: 1st American ed.
ISBN: 9780670020577
0670020575
Branch Call Number: FICTION BOY
Characteristics: 360 p. ; 24 cm.

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s
shelleyfisher
Dec 08, 2015

Boyden is a masterful writer and speaker. A must read.

h
hegneyr
Jul 24, 2015

Read 'Three Day Road" and enjoyed it.

Had this one to read for our Book club.

Read half of it then the last 4 chapters as I found the constant jumping back and forward between characters very disconcerting.

Enjoyed the descriptions of Nothern Ontario

k
khakie2
Feb 27, 2015

I just couldn't get going with this book. I have enjoyed this author, maybe if I read more I would have liked it.

ehbooklover Feb 13, 2015

A fast-paced story, a beautifully described setting, and a very effective use of alternating narratives made for a hard to put down book by a talented Canadian author. Overall it is an extremely bleak and depressing book, yet I found the ending a little too "happily-ever-after".

n
natalieruhl
Apr 30, 2014

I wasn't sure I would enjoy this book- then I read it and now I think about it and talk about it often. It was excellent!
I could go on and on about how much I learned about contemporary Aboriginal life. I learned to love the characters. This is a must read for people who love fiction.

_North Jun 04, 2013

A great read up until the end, Borden's level of detail and immersion are lost as the final chapters rush through a somewhat disappointing ending. Additionally, some of the symbolism and things that were shown early in the novel had no relevance later on. Borden's telling of native life up near the bay is the closest you'll get to experiencing it without being there.

j
jobowo
Mar 06, 2013

One of my favourite books. An intriguing plot holds together a sympathetic and amusing narrative of life in native communities or the life of native americans who find themselves in other communities. One caution for the reader who gets into a book: put the book down when you finish and in particular don't read the bookish/academic questions for discussion at the end or the author's bio. The charm of this book is the way in which weaves a sense of the special atmosphere of small communities. The academic discussion questions at the end completely shattered (at least temporarily) what the book had taken hundreds of pages to create.

loonylovesgood Jan 29, 2013

I don't read enough Canadian fiction, and I really should read more, because this was a great book. I found it hard to put down near the end. Well-written and really gave you a sense of what it is like to live in the Canadian north (even if it is just Northern Ontario).

e
emilysteeves
Dec 12, 2011

Two stories are masterfully told as a mystery unfolds, with beautiful imagery and depth of character. I loved that the characters were the descendents of the characters in Three Day Road, but it is not a sequel to that novel.

g
gtelesford
Aug 21, 2011

Great story set in Moosenee, Ontario about a native indian who relates the story of his life and the lives of people he loves through flashacks while he is in a coma

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JMJourney
Mar 13, 2012

From internationally acclaimed author Joseph Boyden comes an astonishingly powerful novel of contemporary aboriginal life, full of the dangers and harsh beauty of both forest and city. When beautiful Suzanne Bird disappears, her sister Annie, a loner and hunter, is compelled to search for her, leaving behind their uncle Will, a man haunted by loss.While Annie travels from Toronto to New York, from modelling studios to A-list parties,Will encounters dire troubles at home. Both eventually come to painful discoveries about the inescapable ties of family. Through Black Spruce is an utterly unforgettable consideration of how we discover who we really are.

Boyden paints an intricate portrait of contemporary Aboriginal communities around James Bay through the lives of two warring families, descendants of characters from his first novel, the award-winning Three Day Road.

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