The Orenda by Joseph Boyden – Book Review

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This story got more and more brutal as it went along, a crude yet seemingly accurate depiction of the life that was lived by first nations, especially the Huron-Wendat, with their own wars to wage against the Iroquois while Europeans settlers were arriving in their lands and trying to assimilate them.

It wasn’t always easy to stay invested since I didnt find any of the characters that likeable and since the pace was slow for more than half the book. Still, this style of narration, with the 3 different point of views (a Huron war chief, a young captured Iroquois girl and a French Jesuit priest) gave the reader a very wide view and understanding of the story, which ended up being pretty devastating, to be honest.

Overall a very poignant historical account, even fictionalized, of a time when the country that is my home was a very different place. I gave it 4 stars.

Half the book was ”listened” through Audible, therefore I want to make a quick note on the narration. The book is told in 3 differents point of views, and there were 3 actors reading it, which helped a lot to distinguish the voices, because the chapters are never identified (the chapters are often very short and they all have a title but you have to read a few lines before figuring out who is telling it). It never takes too long before figuring it out while reading, but if it all was narrated by the same voice, it could have been confusing. Also, I always find it a bit disturbing when a young girl’s voice is read by a grown woman but I guess it’s hard to avoid. The 3 actors did a good job and I give the narration a 4 stars as well.

The following video is an interview the author made about his book. Very enlightening.


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