This is a phenomenal and haunting book. I really loved the story despite most of it being set in the WWI. Maybe because it not the traditional stories being told of WWI. The characters are deep and complex. So powerfully written that it makes you stop and wonder what hell is going on with society. It's like a stab to the heart. It will make you very uncomfortable.
The story follows Xavier Bird, a young First Nations Canadian, journey through leaving the bush and nature, enlisting in and serving as a sniper in WWI, then through his the healing process of not only his body but his spirit in returning to his home in the bush. It also of his aunt Niska, who as been able to evade the assimilation into residential schools and the destruction of her traditional knowledge and spared the young Xavier Bird from the same.
It's very Canadiana. Joseph Boyden has an amazing ability of being able to share stories of Native First Nation Canadians experiences in a honest and true form. The school children of North America, and particularly of Canada, should be reading this in there English classes. This really should be made into a movie.