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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.

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Three Day Road
Average rating
5 / 5
January 30th, 2014
Couldn't put it down. I loved the way the novel alternates between past and present
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1 review
January 28th, 2014
Amazing, heart-felt story. One of my favorite books re: first nations' stories.
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1 review
January 25th, 2014
Joseph Boyden is now my favourite author. Of his three books to date, although all fabulous; this is my favourite. He is able to cross time lines so smoothly and his first person narrative makes the story so engrossing. I loved the bits of history and recognition of places in Ontario. I cried, I held my breath, I lacked sleep for a couple of nights because I didn't want to stop reading. Marvelous book. MJ
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1 review

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