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Publisher's Summary

Joseph Boyden's first novel, Three Day Road, was a Today Show Book Club selection. Through Black Spruce is the exceptional follow-up to his acclaimed debut. Cree bush pilot Will Bird lies comatose in a hospital, while his wayward niece Annie arrives to sit in silent vigil by his side. Slowly their stories reveal two people previously separated by great distances, beaten and broken, and searching for some sense of where they belong in the world.
©2008 Joseph Boyden; (P)2009 Recorded Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"[A]n intelligent, multilayered accomplishment, and well worth reading." (Publishers Weekly)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    49
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    39
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    8
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    5
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Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Ruth
  • Upper Kingsclear, New Brunswick, Canada
  • 05-24-09

A pleasure to listen to

The author acknowledges native life, and its shortcomings, but it doesn't own his characters, or the book.
Very realistic wilderness scenarios, not tidy, nor idyllic.
Exceptionally well read, wonderful parallels between predators in the many worlds inhabited by the characters.
Would love to listen to Boyden's first book " Three Day Road"

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Timothy
  • Burlington, Ontario, Canada
  • 09-01-09

A writer to watch

This is a really fine book. Having read Boyden's previous book, Three Day Road, I wondered how the narrator would handle the "Cree English' dialogue that makes Boyden's writing so authentic. He got it right, in my opinion.
Both of his books have changed, forever, my understanding of the impact of European settlement on First Nation's people, without feeling that I was being preached to. Joseph Boyden is one talented writer.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Daniel
  • Charlottesville, VA, USA
  • 07-08-09

Great Listen

A slow start to this listen had me close to moving on to another book. I am glad to stick it out as the book slowly grabbed and held me more and more the longer I listened.

Two great narrators, and a great blend of characters and plot that leaves you guessing what will happen. I connected with many of the characters.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Poor choice of Narrator for a good book

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The people who were chosen to read this book were all wrong. They make this book boring.

What did you like best about this story?

The insight into the everyday life of First Nations people.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

A Cree or Ojibwa person would have been a much better choice. The narrator's that have been chosen drains the life from this story.

Was Through Black Spruce worth the listening time?

I could not get through the entire book. The narration was too sterile.

Any additional comments?

This is a good book. Black Spruce depicts some aspects of the culture and themes that are important to Cree and Ojibwa today.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Melinda
  • Prince George, BC, Canada
  • 03-08-11

Engaging story and effective narrators

I found the story slow at the beginning, but it really picked up after several chapters and was worth sticking with. The two narrators do a good job of portraying Annie and her uncle, Will. There's a lot to think about in this novel: the traditional vs. the modern; the city vs. the wilderness; solitude vs. community and friendship; aboriginal vs. non-aboriginal culture. It's an entertaining but meaty listen/read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lynda
  • Keewatin, Ontario, Canada
  • 01-30-11

Absolutely Great Book

Loved this book. Especially liked that there is a male and female reader. You would not be disappointed with this book. I looked forward to my walks each day so I could continue with the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Adam
  • SPRINGFIELD, MA, USA
  • 05-27-09

Amazing Read

This is an amazing book. I found myself torn between pity and amazement at the Cree characters as they go from onlookers to participants in a drug ring much larger than they had ever realized. The "Indian Princess" goes to NYC to find her sister, the Bush Pilot uncle murders the ring leader and has to hide on an desolate island. Definitely a great listen.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Through Black Spruce

The nook was interesting to listen to.i would recommend it to family and friends for their listening pleasure.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Wonderful

l loved this book. I was sorry It had ti end. the characters easily became a part of my day. I looked forward to the adventures and their personal growth.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Amazing and captivating story.

Amazing and captivating story. really love how much i get to learn about Cree ways of life, living off the land, struggling to survive in both the bush and cities. A novel that provides lots of perspective.

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  • Overall
  • Exarabia
  • 04-14-13

Nothing but praise

This is a powerful story of family ties, betrayal, enduring love, and unfathomable hope. Boyden portrays the vast northern wilderness, the conflict between 'progress' and 'the old ways', the attitudes of the young, and the battlefield of drink and drug abuse with a compassion that brings tears to one's eyes. He writes beautifully.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • stargazer
  • 02-25-15

It really takes you there!!

Through Black Spruce is one of the most wonderful
Books/audio books I have ever read or listened to! James and Ali are perfect and you are right there with them. I had the pleasure of meeting Joseph Boyden last year when I was in Toronto. Thank you for a fabulous book Sue from Hereford UK

1 of 1 people found this review helpful