Sunday, July 10

Book Review: Three Day Road

Title: Three Day Road

Author: Joseph Boyden

Pages: 384

Summary: It is 1919, and Niska, the last Oji-Cree medicine woman to live off the land, has received word that one of the two boys she saw off to the Great War has returned. Xavier Bird, her only relative, is gravely wounded and addicted to morphine. As Niska paddles her canoe on the three-day journey to take Xavier home, travelling through the stark and stunning landscape of Northern Ontario, their respective stories emerge - stories of Niska's life amongst her kin and Xavier's horrifying experiences in the killing fields of Ypres and the Somme. Told with unblinking focus, Three Day Road is a stunning tale of brutality, survival, and rebirth that marks the arrival of an exceptional new talent.

My Rating: 10/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: It's hard to put into words how I feel about this book, as it has so many elements in a book that I love and enjoy. Powerful, emotional, self-exploration, friendship, reflections of war, survival - these are just some of the themes explored in the book. It was almost impossible to put the book down, and it is one that stays with you after you finished reading it.

The book combines both past and present, as Xavier returns from the fronts of war, and is being taken by his Aunt down the river to their home. While is Aunt reflects on her childhood, as well as Xavier's, he reflects on his time during the war and the evens that happened there - including his friendship with his friend Elijah. In the present, Xavier fights a morphine addiction and the ghosts of the war, in the past, the reader is able to see how he got to where he is now. The author does a fantastic job at brining the entire story together as it weaves in and out from past to present.

The writing was lovely, from the wilderness along the river, to the harsh and brutal fronts of the war, the author was able to paint the picture of the setting wonderfully. The writing on the war was brutal and harsh, but it was one of those books that doesn't glorify the war, but show it's harsh realities and consequences. Particularly in this book it was the madness and morphine addiction. Elijah's character and his journey into madness and morphine addiction was shocking and sad as was its affect on his friendship with Xavier. The author did such a fantastic job at exploring all the horrible results of war that he was able to create some very real and believable characters.

One of the best books I've read all year, it is one worth reading,

Would I recommend it to read: I'd highly recommend the book. It was incredible well done and well written, it is one that should be added to your TBR list.

What to read next: The Celist of Sarajevo

Challenges: 11 in 11, 100+ Challenge, Book Blogger Bucket List, Canadian Reading Challenge V


  1. I too loved this book when I first read it. Yet, for all that, I still haven't committed to reading the follow up, Through Black Spruce. Not sure why.

  2. Already on my tbr thanks to all the positive things I've read about 'Three Day Road', I'm happy to hear how much you also enjoyed it.

  3. John - Until I finished the book, I had no idea there was a follow-up to it. I'm also reluctant to read it.

    Wanda - Glad to be adding more books to your TBR list Wanda, well worth it.