Fom the Nightstand: Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese

Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese was a finalist in 2013’s Canada Reads. Having worked for fourteen years on an Ojibway reserve in northern Wisconsin, I was fascinated by the novel’s opening chapters about the young Ojibway boy Saul Indian Horse and his grandmother in northern Ontario, their life in the bush, and their terror of the residential schools. The author skilfully depicts the horror of those schools – a dark and poisonous chapter in both Canadian and US history, with a tragic legacy that lives on today. I was less engrossed by the middle chapters. Too much hockey for me and, unlike the beginning and end of the novel, the middle chapters read like an autobiography – the tension wasn’t dramatized. And yet all in all, a satisfying read.


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