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Franklin Starlight is called to visit his father Eldon. He's 16 years old and has had the most fleeting of relationships with the man. The rare moments they've shared haunt and trouble Frank, but he answers the call, a son's duty to a father. He finds Eldon decimated after years of drinking, dying of liver failure in a small town flophouse. Eldon asks his son to take him into the mountains, so he may be buried in the traditional Ojibway manner.
What ensues is a journey through the rugged and beautiful backcountry, and a journey into the past, as the two men push forward to Eldon's end. From a poverty-stricken childhood, to the Korean War, and later the derelict houses of mill towns, Eldon relates both the desolate moments of his life and a time of redemption and love and in doing so offers Frank a history he has never known, the father he has never had, and a connection to himself he never expected.
A novel about love, friendship, courage, and the idea that the land has within it powers of healing, Medicine Walk reveals the ultimate goodness of its characters and offers a deeply moving and redemptive conclusion. Wagamese's writing soars and his insight and compassion are matched by his gift of communicating these to the listener.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Craig on 07-31-15
In the end we are nothing...
A man's circumstances, geography, vices, and guilt are background for this road trip (horse trip) story about redemption and forgiveness. It is a mid-20th-century Canadian Western that engagingly makes the point that sometimes humans can only rise as far as circumstance allows. The main characters, Franklin and Eldon Starlight are Native Canadians (First Peoples). Eldon, the father has tremendous guilt and psychic trauma resulting from the Korean War. Franklin, the son, is the unintended victim of his father's PTSD.
The story revolves around a request that the father makes to the son for a Warrior's Burial in the Canadian mountains. Franklin must face his own demons to honor his father's last request.
Medicine Walk has many redemptive and thought provoking qualities. I am still thinking about it several days after the listen. I recommend this book to those of us whom enjoy Native American stories and realistic fiction.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
By Davina Daly on 06-08-16
I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of this book and the presentation. it took me to another place and my emotional reactions were deep. it reminded me that we can never guess another's personal journey and we should have patience and kindness rather than judgement.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful