Monday, October 1, 2007

The Winter People by Joseph Bruchac

This novel tells the story of Robert Rogers' Rangers Raid (say that three times fast) on the Abenaki at the town of Saint Francis on the Canadian border in 1759 during the French and Indian Wars. It is told from the point of view of a young Abenaki boy of 14 years of age.

I found the book compelling and well written. While the topic is difficult and some graphic scenes are represented... including burned bodies, killed dogs, and kidnapped children, none of which are easy to take... the main character does not pursue gratuitous violence, or even revenge. Indeed, one of the themes that I appreciated was how dangerous it was to listen to 'spin' and how important to trust one's instinct and to act honorably and justly.

The depiction of the Abenaki and their reliance on French religion, customs, and culture was fascinating and revealing.

Highly recommended