The Next Chapter

Jacquie Neville reviews Joseph Boyden's Three Day Road

Jacquie Neville is the lead singer in The Balconies, an indie rock band. These days, when she's not touring, she's reading Three Day Road, by Joseph Boyden.
Jacquie Neville is the lead singer in Canadian indie rock band The Balconies. (CBC)

Jacquie Neville is the lead singer in The Balconies, a Canadian indie rock band that was formed a few years ago in her parents' basement. She told The Next Chapter about why she's currently loving Joseph Boyden's novel Three Day Road.

It's a beautiful story that takes place near the end of the First World War. The lead character, Xavier, is a Cree man who enlists in the army and goes to Europe. He comes back a completely changed man — he has totally fallen apart spiritually and is struggling with post-traumatic syndrome and addiction. He's greeted by his aunt Niska, who is basically trying to revive him by telling him stories of her past. 

The story is told by two narrators, both Niska and Xavier, which I really love. It's neat to see that counterpart between two characters and still have this cohesive story happening. I just loved it because of the themes of morality and trying to find your identity. It draws you in to that time and it makes you feel really Canadian when you're reading it. He describes the Canadian landscapes and the Indigenous people's involvement in the World War. It's a beautiful novel.