I first encountered Boyden's writing in Maclean's magazine back in September 2005. He was reporting on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, giving firsthand accounts, and I was instantly drawn into the way he described the devastation and suffering plaguing the city. Boyden has a way with words; he can get to the core of something quickly, easily, makes the reader understand. The short biography that followed the articles explained that Boyden taught creative writing in New Orleans and that he had a couple of books under his belt. I wanted to see if his writing carried as well in his fiction and so I sought out Three Day Road.
I was not disappointed.
Three Day Road is a terrific book. It is layered, multifaceted, and it would serve any reader well to re-read it at least once. Though it is not dense, nor overly complicated to understand, it does have a lot of substance to it. It is subtle, nuanced, like a fine wine.
Surprisingly, there is a lot of action too, and a lot of harrowing detail on the conditions of World War One warfare. The Great War is oftentimes overlooked because of the events that took place in the Second World War. Fortunately in Three Day Road Boyden pays homage to those who served so valiantly. Even more importantly, Boyden pays homage to the natives who served valiantly in the First World War—natives who went from hero to zero upon returning home to Canada.
Three Day Road is a novel I plan to re-read again. Like a fine wine, it ages well.