I won’t lie – I thought this book would be bigger, like the size of “The Orenda,” but that wasn’t the case. “Wenjack” is minuscule compared to his pervious novels. In fact, “Wenjack” can literally fit in the palm of my hand (and I have pretty small hands). At just over 100 pages, I did have to keep an open mind.
How could Joseph Boyden possibly create characters, bring them to life, and have an amazing plot to match in such a short page count?
To answer those questions: He did.
And he did it beautifully.
“Wenjack” measures up to all my expectations, and then some. It was beautiful how he changed each chapter up, and wrote in a different point of view. If it wasn’t our main character, Chanie, then it was an owl, or a spider, or even a lynx. The interweaving of man and animal is essential to the storyline of this book, because this is exactly what white people back then did not want – “savages.” Many children were ripped apart from their families, taken to a “safe” place that dehumanized and tore them apart, and Joseph Boyden has packed all of these issues into such a small book.
“Wenjack” is actually based on a true story, which makes this tale even more meaningful. You can read all about Chanie Wenjack on The Canadian Encyclopedia website.
As a Canadian, this book is so important to us and our culture. We all need to read this book. There’s really nothing more I can say, except that this book was a great one to read to end my 2016.