I always knew about the Martyr's Shrine in Midland, Ontario, but never really understood the story behind it. This book is more or less a retelling of the Martyr's story and Boyden, apparently, used the journals of Jean de Brébeuf, one of the six priests immortalized at the shrine, in the research for this book.
This book should be mandatory reading for all high school students. It's gets to you. I really like my life in Canada, but it disturbs me to think about how we got to this place, where those who first lived here have been so marginalized over the last couple hundred years. Things are changing, I think, I hope! But how arrogant were those first Europeans, to think that their ways were the only ways.
I found this to be a tough read. It took me a month to get through the book, mainly because I knew there was going to be some pretty significant violence and torture contained within. That being said, there's also a lot of beauty. The book's Orenda is pretty strong! I persevered and got to the end and it was so worth it!
Suffice it to say, if you're looking for a happy, sappy story, this is not your book. It is a very good book though and if you like to be moved, this is your book.