2012-01-24

Through Black SpruceThrough Black Spruce by Joseph Boyden
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

In the end, a good and satisfying, though difficult read. Joseph Boyden wrote this story in the first person but that first person keeps changing from character to character, very confusing at first until the reader gets used to the switches. Also much of the story exists as flash-back, without conventional flash-back cues, again very confusing. I don't know if it is an affectation of the author or a genuine mode of speech among the Cree, but I found the constant pairing of pronoun objective and subjective cases ("me, I ..." "him, he ..." "her, she ...") instead of simply subjective case in the dialogue annoying. Did the characters really have to use alcohol and recreational drugs so heavily to advance the plot? I almost abandoned this book in the first quarter but the story itself kept drawing me back into its puzzling and intriguing conflict. I can only say I am glad I stayed with this novel

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