Among the lakes and the cedars, they attempt to reconnect with half-forgotten traditions and hide from the authorities who have been kidnapping Ojibway youth. But when winter approaches, Saul loses everything: his brother, his parents, his beloved grandmother--and then his home itself. Alone in the world and placed in a horrific boarding school, Saul is surrounded by violence and cruelty. At the urging of a priest, he finds a tentative salvation in hockey. Rising at dawn to practice alone, Saul proves determined and undeniably gifted.
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Among the lakes and the cedars, they attempt to reconnect with half-forgotten traditions and hide from the authorities who have been kidnapping Ojibway youth. But when winter approaches, Saul loses everything: his brother, his parents, his beloved grandmother--and then his home itself. Alone in the world and placed in a horrific boarding school, Saul is surrounded by violence and cruelty. At the urging of a priest, he finds a tentative salvation in hockey.
Rising at dawn to practice alone, Saul proves determined and undeniably gifted. His intuition and vision are unmatched. His speed is remarkable. Together they open doors for him: away from the school, into an all-Ojibway amateur circuit, and finally within grasp of a professional career.
Spare and compact yet undeniably rich, Indian Horse is at once a heartbreaking account of a dark chapter in our history and a moving coming-of-age story. The story itself in this book may be fiction, but it tells the truths of so many lives.
Of all the people that turned a blind eye to what was really happening to these communities and have subsequently tried to erase this history. I love the way this book is written.
It is heart-breaking, harrowing and it utterly flattened me. Yet somehow, it was uplifting by the end. It is a tale of human endurance; of how you can live through the very worst of times and still somehow, come out the other side. This particular quote where Saul tries to come to terms with his past, nearly made me howl.
I had to leave before I collapsed under the weight of it. No book has ever quite made me understand the power a sport can play in building a community, than this one. How it can build the sense of belonging that can be missing in a life. If this sounds heavy and somewhat depressing, then yeah, it kinda is. And yet, I felt so hopeful after reading it. There are some real moments of levity and pure utter heart-warming wonder. In short, it scooped my heart right out of me, but at the end, it gave it back to me a bit fuller.
You nailed it.
Indian Horse, by Richard Wagamese
Some information in it may no longer be current. In his novel Ragged Company, his strongest character, Digger, a man who, with several of his homeless friends, strikes it rich with a stray lottery ticket, has a whole lingo of defiance, challenge and eloquent disrespect for the "Square John" world of respectable consumerism, and though he comes to terms with his own failures, he never backs down from his insistence that his point of view is a valid perspective on the nature of existence. Within a very few pages, though, it becomes clear that this pastoral and traditional sense of himself has not come easily, that he has had to fight numerous battles on many fronts in order to achieve self-knowledge and self-acceptance, and if he has succeeded, it has been not only because of luck and not only because of persistence. Story continues below advertisement To begin with, Saul is a representative Ojibway character.
Book Review: Indian Horse, by Richard Wagamese
As a reader who wants to encourage others to go out and get this important piece of work, I am breaking the rule about reviewers getting personal with the material. As I worked my way through the staggering story of Saul Indian Horse , there was an immediate flooding of memories I was a 6 year old Dutch immigrant who attended a Catholic school in Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. At that time, there were Aboriginal children in my class who were treated horribly by the teachers. They were always getting strapped for speaking their native language or having messy desks or whatever. It seemed to me even at such a young age, that these children were being picked on.
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