Will's Garden

Lee Maracle's young adult novel tells the story of an Indigenous boy on the brink of manhood.

Lee Maracle

Will is a young Aboriginal boy, about to become a man. His family is preparing for his special Becoming a Man Ceremony. As they work, Will watches, and as he sees the difference between what the men are doing and what the women are doing, he thinks about his future and the role he will take on in his family and in the world.

Will's Garden is for readers ages 13 and up.

Lee Maracle was a celebrated Sto:lo Nation poet, author and activist. She died at the age of 71 in 2021. Maracle's works include iconic books such as Celia's Song I Am WomanMy Conversations with Canadians and Ravensong. Maracle was named to the Order of Canada in 2018.

Read an excerpt | Author interviews

From the book

Louie, the Speaker of the Smoke House, who addressed the small group of guys that were going to go through their ceremonies this winter, called this time in our lives our "days of decision." He had said the number of decisions would rack up. We would have to make life long decisions about direction, about belief, about attitudes and about conduct. We would have to make them alone, in the dark, in our imagined selves. We would have to learn to live with those decisions. Some of our relatives would agree with what we decided, others would disagree, some might cause us pain, but we are instructed to make decisions freely, carefully, considerately, and hold our ground.

I wasn't sure, but I don't think Wit's last words made a difference to me. I would have to make this decision alone and hold my ground. The decisions are racking up, just like he said. Who to give the rose garden to, what to do about school, about being a Sto:loh man and now about Wit, who comes wrapped in that package called homosexuality. I am beginning to feel too young to be doing this alone.

From Will's Garden by Lee Maracle ©2008. Published by Theytus Books.



Author interviews

The groundbreaking indigenous writer on why Chekhov is her favourite writer, why Anna Karenina is a "magnificent" character, and more.

Add some “good” to your morning and evening.

A variety of newsletters you'll love, delivered straight to you.

Sign up now