WINNER OF THE LIBRIS AWARD — FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR In the wilds of seventeenth-century North America, the lives of a Jesuit missionary, a young Iroquois girl, and a great warrior and elder statesman of the Huron Nation become entwined. The Huron have battled the Iroquois for generations, but now both tribes face a new, more dangerous threat from another land. Uneasy alliances are made and unmade, cultures and beliefs clash in the face of precipitous change, and not everyone will survive the march of history. Joseph Boyden’s magisterial novel tells this story of blood and hope, suspicion and trust, hatred and love: a saga nearly four hundred years old—and now a timeless work of literature.

Vintage 448 pages

  • Reviews

Murielle Cyr

over 5 years ago

Joseph Boyden’s powerful historical war novel, Orenda, takes place in the mid-1600 in Lower Canada when First Nations tribes and French Jesuit priests collided with each other in their quest for supremacy. Like all wars then and now, battles were won and lost with gratuitous violence and cruelty. The detailed and vivid description of two First Nations cultures competing for power by any means possible, and the great human suffering and loss of lives involved is haunting and heart wrenching. The staggering human tragedies experienced by the characters involved as told by a Jesuit priest on a mission to impose his religion on a scared and starving people, by a young Iroquois girl whose visions of revenge are transformed into love, and a Wendat leader who comes to the realization that his vindictive actions may have caused the destruction of his people, are heartbreaking and tragic. An absolute brilliant read.


Donna Lowe

about 2 years ago

"So much is learned by seeing how well or how poorly someone accomplishes a job he dislikes." - pg. 59 "Sometimes, it's not getting what we want that offers us the most important lessons." - pg. 61 "But there is nothing in this world that needs us for its survival. We aren't the masters of the earth. We're the servants." - pg. 163 "...hard work leaves little room for the ill will born of idleness." - pg. 401