Set during the dramatic Red River Resistance of 1869-1870 and the birth of Manitoba. The novel is told through the perspective of a young Irish-Canadian journalist, Conor O’Dea. Under mysterious circumstances, after working for the assassinated politician D’Arcy McGee, O’Dea is sent West, and to Sir John A. Macdonald’s horror befriends Louis Riel. Macdonald never understood Louis Riel and never really tried to.
The story also includes the little known Fenian attack in Manitoba. If Louis Riel had supported his fellow Catholics, it could have been what the lieutenant governor called “a rough time of it.” But he didn’t. He supported Canada.
Equal parts spy thriller and love triangle and, in a time of reconciliation, this poignant novel contributes to the complicated story of Canada.
Henderson and Bouchard have managed the magnificent feat of starting a very important conversation about this great land for all of those who call it home.