Medicine Walk

Medicine Walk


Author: Richard Wagamese | Paperback

Franklin Starlight's comfort in solitude and experience in the wilderness make him appear wise beyond his sixteen years. But when his ailing father, Eldon, summons him back to town, Franklin's sense of duty clashes with the deep resentment he feels for his father's many years of absence and neglect. Finding Eldon near death after years of drinking, Franklin grudgingly agrees to help carry out his father's final wish to be buried in the warrior way, deep in the rugged and starkly beautiful outback of British Columbia.

Hesitantly, Franklin obliges his dying father's wish -- to be buried as a warrior -- and together they hazard the rugged and dangerous beauty of the backcountry to find an appropriate burial site. Growing up in the care of the "old man" he was entrusted to at birth, Franklin Starlight has never really known his biological father, Eldon. The fleeting moments he shared with the alcoholic man have only ended in disasters that haunt the boy. But when father, coming to the end of his alcohol-ruined life, reaches out to sixteen-year-old son their first and last journey together begins.

The ride into the wilderness transforms both men as Eldon shares his life story. From an impoverished childhood to his shell-shocked return from combat in the Korean War, Eldon depicts a hard life, a life common to many of his people. But along with these desolate recollections, Eldon shares his life's fleeting moments of happiness and hope. And in telling his story, he offers his son an inheritance he never could have imagined.

Through the fog of pain, Eldon relates to his son the desolate moments in his life, as well as the times of hope -- the family history Franklin has never known. As Father tells the tale, the Son, and the reader, live for the stories, in the hope that they will shed light on the mysteries of a tortured past.