The OrendaThe Orenda by Joseph Boyden
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’m a big fan of Joseph Boyden’s previous work, and this novel didn’t disappoint. If you’ve been following the Bird clan, I think you’ll find the latest installment satisfying as well.

Boyden takes us further back in this novel, to early colonization of North America. The story follows three characters: a Jesuit missionary (Christophe), a young Iroquois woman (Snow Falls) and Bird, a Huron leader, and ancestor of the Bird clan in Boyden’s other novels.

I think what I appreciated most about this book was that Boyden isn’t afraid to dive into the complexity of the characters and the societies they lived in. At points I was totally revolted by the Jesuit’s efforts to convert the Huron, but they believed, or at least hoped, they were doing the right thing.

We are with Snow Falls as she grows from a troubled girl into a much more confident, capable young woman. And we watch Bird try to shoulder leadership responsibilities in a time of volatile change.

Overall a complex, thoughtful book.

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