The Orenda

The Orenda Cover

The Orenda

By Joseph Boyden

Hamish Hamilton, Hardcover, 9780670064182, 490pp.

Publication Date: September 19, 2013

A visceral portrait of life at a crossroads, The Orenda opens with a brutal massacre and the kidnapping of the young Iroquois Snow Falls, a spirited girl with a special gift. Her captor, Bird, is an elder and one of the Huron Nation's great warriors and statesmen. It has been years since the murder of his family, and yet they are never far from his mind. In Snow Falls, Bird recognizes the ghost of his lost daughter and sees that the girl possesses powerful magic that will be useful to him on the troubled road ahead. Bird's people have battled the Iroquois for as long as he can remember, but both tribes now face a new, more dangerous threat from afar.

Christophe, a charismatic Jesuit missionary, has found his calling among the Huron, and devotes himself to learning and understanding their customs and language in order to lead them to Christ. An emissary from distant lands, he brings much more than his faith to the new world.

As these three souls dance with each other through intricately woven acts of duplicity, small battles erupt into bigger wars and a nation emerges from worlds in flux.

About the Author
Joseph Boyden 's first novel, Three Day Road, was selected for the "Today Show" Book Club, won the Rogers Writers Trust Fiction Prize, the CBA Libris Fiction Book of the Year Award, the Books in Canada First Novel Award, and the McNally Robinson Aboriginal Book of the Year Award, and was shortlisted for the Governor General s Award for Fiction. His second novel, "Through Black Spruce," was awarded the Scotiabank Giller Prize and named the Canadian Booksellers Association Fiction Book of the Year; it also earned him the CBA s Author of the Year Award. His most recent novel, "The Orenda," won Canada Reads and was nominated for the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the Governor General s Award for Fiction. Boyden divides his time between Northern Ontario and Louisiana."