Richard Wagameese can tell a story! This is simply one of the best novels I’ve ever read! He tells us of the life of Saul Indian Horse – an young Ojibway who after family tragedy is placed in a residential school setting where he is forced to abandon much of his native heritage and adopt what is seen as a more ‘suitable’ life. Tragically, during this time he and many others in similiar circumstances are subject to abuses at the facility. Despite this he finds his escape in the great game of hockey. I could not help but reminise of my early years learning and playing the game – a truly special time. Wagamese vividly captures the intensity and thrill of Saul’s first opportuntiy to play. He is the underdog – the smallest on the team and only put in on account of anothers injury… yet this was the moment he had been waiting for. His hours of practicing pay off and when he hits the ice, the jaws of his teammates drop! Sauls peak play take him away from the residential school yet there are more of lifes challenges and dispointments to negotiate; he spirals downward but graciously is rescued by a kind farmer who helps him ‘dry-up’; Thereafter it becomes clear to Saul that life is most precious when contributing in a positive way and staying true to this purpose. There is a wealth of insight within these pages … something for all and not to be missed.
Indian Horse by Richard Wagamese