Growing up in the care of the “old man” he was entrusted to at birth, Franklin Starlight has never really known his biological father, Eldon. The fleeting moments he shared with the alcoholic man have only ended in disasters that haunt the boy. But when father, coming to the end of his alcohol-ruined life, reaches out to sixteen-year-old son their first and last journey together begins. Hesitantly, Franklin obliges his dying father’s wish to be buried as a warrior and together they hazard the rugged and dangerous beauty of the backcountry to find an appropriate burial site.
Through the fog of pain, Eldon relates to his son the desolate moments in his life, as well as the times of hope the family history Franklin has never known. As Father tells the tale, the Son, and the reader, live for the stories, in the hope that they will shed light on the mysteries of a tortured past.
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.00(d)|
About the Author
Richard Wagamese is one of Canada’s foremost writers, and one of the leading Native writers in North America. The author of eight previous novels and several acclaimed memoirs, he has won numerous awards, including the National Aboriginal Achievement Award for Media and Communications, the Molson Prize, and the Canada Reads People’s Choice Award. He lives in Kamloops, British Columbia.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Gorgeously descriptive of both internal and external worlds, this book takes you on a deceptively simple walk that is spiritually rich.
He is a natural storyteller and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Franklin Starlight never knew his mother and the few encounters he's had with his alcoholic father have left him hurt and disappointed. He's been raised on a small ranch in northern British Columbia by "the old man", who's taught him everything he knows about ranching and wilderness survival. He's also taught him about integrity, self-esteem and the qualities of good character. At sixteen, Franklin's more a man then most. When he gets a call from his father he's tempted to ignore it, but this time it's different. His father is dying of liver disease and wants Frank to help him travel to remote ridge forty miles out in the wilderness. Once there he wants "a warrior's death", buried sitting upright in the ground facing east "so he can follow the rising sun across the sky to the Happy Hunting Grounds." As it's his father's dying wish, Frank feels duty-bound to oblige him. Besides, he's longing to know more about his family history including how he came to be brought up by the "the old man". So begins the journey, from a small mill town into the wilderness, Frank walking and leading a horse his father rides because he is too weak to walk. As each mile passes Franklin begins to know his father as the man slowly divulges his personal history, Franklin's history. In Medicine Walk, Richard Wagamese has created a story that resonates on many levels. There's the portrayal of a Spartan way of life defined by hard manual labour, loyalty and integrity as conveyed in the characters of Franklin and "the old man". Then there's the life Franklin's father has lived - one of never facing up to your demons and using alcohol to keep them at bay. It's a story of the extremes of human nature - of doing the right thing no matter how tough and painful it is, and doing everything to avoid it. Wagamese' dialogue is authentic, his characters complex, and his story is brutal in it's truth.