Medicine River

Medicine River

Book - 1990
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"Will returns to Medicine River, a town just outside a Blackfoot reserve, to bury his mother and reconsider his past. In short order he finds himself very much caught up in the present, opening a photography studio and playing on the local basketball team. His best friend and sometime coach, Harlan Bigbear, quickly convinces him to get involved with pregnant, unwed (and rich) Louise Heavyman. Will visits with Martha Oldcrow, the marriage doctor, and grapples with David Plume, just back from the protest at Wounded Knee. He meets other wanderers, from Joe Bigbear, Harlan's brother, a world traveler and storyteller par excellence, to Bertha Morley, who leaves the reservation to try her luck with a Calgary dating service. King's deceptively simple comedy is an intriguing portrait of Native American life today."--Publisher's Weekly.
A young Canadian Indian returns to his hometown outside a Blackfoot Reserve where he recovers his lost heritage among a varied cast of characters, including an all-Indian basketball team, a marriage doctor, and a world traveler.
Publisher: Markham, Ont. : Viking, 1990
ISBN: 9780140254747
Characteristics: 261 p. ; 23 cm


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A patron review from the Adult Summer Game: "Will Horse Capture is a self-described "half blood Indian" of Blackfoot descent. His life as a First Nations individual and his community's approach to life is revealed through alternating descriptions of his past and present circumstances. He is a photographer formerly of Toronto who returns to Medicine River for his mother's funeral and eventually makes it his permanent residence. He maintains his work as a photographer and some of his 'jobs' and clients are described. Multiple character introductions propel the story and offer a great deal of interest and humour. In particular, we meet Harlem Bigbear. He offers his perspective and wisdom about life and people in a simple yet complex way. He has a sincere heart and is a champion for and guardian of his community. We journey with Will and Harlan and the members of the Medicine River Friendship Warriors basketball team and witness their failures and successes. We also vicariously enjoy the chaos, excitement, and quirkiness experienced at community social gatherings. Some characters suffer some harsh realities/challenges, but ovverall the book chronicles the spirit and "unique" family manifested by the community of Medicine River. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can recommend this title without hesitation. Ultimately it celebrates the endurance of family, the joy of friendship, and the beauty of human connection."

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