Spirits of a Feather
ISBN: 1583485473 Global Overview for this book
3 journalers for this copy...
It is waiting there for a new reader to take home, read, and release back into the wild!
Thanks for releasing this letsgotoamovie. I plan to read it before the next Canada Day release challenge. So I've got a few months.
The story follows Jay (probably about 16 or 17 years old) who simply ups and leaves his abusive family in Northern Manitoba. He hops a bus to Winnipeg, with no plan and $11.00 in his pocket. As we get to know Jay we see that he is a liar, a thief, homophobic and full of self-aggrandizing/self-protecting bravado. He really ought not to be that likable and yet you do like him - perhaps because he is so wet behind the ears. But you can't help but think he ought to get his comeuppance at some point.
On the bus to Winnipeg, among the people he meets is Phil. Phil is a big biker guy. I'd guess him to be in his forties, maybe older, maybe younger. He just happens to be on the bus because he's dropped his Harley off for repair. Incredibly Phil takes pity on smart-mouthed Jay and offers him a place to sleep the first night in Winnipeg. Jay has already lied to him saying he was coming to Winnipeg to visit with a cousin, but of course there is no cousin and Jay hasn't the foggiest idea what he's going to do in the big city.
Incredibly, Phil invites Jay to stay with him as long as he wants. Now we're told that the reason Phil is so kind to Jay is that he lost a nephew (Scotty)of whom he was very fond and who had lived with him. Phil is still grieving and had turned Scotty's room into something of a shrine. At first Jay is not allowed in there, but it's not too long before Phil gets rid of all of Scotty's stuff and offers Jay the room. Phil says he enjoys looking after Jay as he did his nephew. Incredibly Phil tells Jay private things he says he's never told anyone before.
Phil has some good friends, some openly gay. In particular there is Steve. Jay is incredibly homophobic and, egotistically, is always worried that Steve is coming on to him. Incredibly Steve, like Phil, and despite Jay's rudeness, also decides he's going to look after Jay. He gives him clothes and offers up his own apartment for whenever he wants or needs. Throughout the book Steve gently instructs him in all things gay.
Jay decides he should get a job (not so he can contribute to rent or groceries or anything as responsible as that, but because he realizes he'll need some money). He gets a job as a drug mule - the money's easy. But one day he goes off on a trip with Phil instead of making his deliveries. As might be expected his boss, Tony, is none too pleased and sends his henchmen out to find Jay. Jay knowing they're out for him takes off from Phil's apartment without a word and disappears into the North End. So instead of Jay getting a beating, it's Phil who's left to deal with the bad guys. Phil bears Jay no grudge.
Jay decides he should get out of the drug delivery business. So, he simply goes to Tony apologizes and says he wants out. Tony says he respects Jay (why he really would I don't know) and accepts his decision. No hard feelings. Jay just has to promise not to tell anyone what Tony does. Oh it's that easy! Incredible.
When Jay moves to the North End he gets a real job busing tables for Han Sing at the Red Dragon. Han Sing lets him have a room above the restaurant. Also living in one of the rooms is R.B. (Running Bear) who is a native elder and shaman. R.B. also befriends Jay and teaches him native spiritualism.
Jay starts hanging around the mall and manages to get himself a bunch of friends his own age too, including a rich girlfriend, Sue and Tanya who just happens to be a spiritual medium willing to help him find a "higher state of inner harmony".
Incredible that this punk kid can get off the bus in Winnipeg and have all these fine people look after him. Incredible too that all of these people trust this punk kid to tell him their inner most secrets and take the time to instruct him in the things that are important to them. As a result the dialogue throughout the book seems more of a school lesson than talk between people who really only
barely know each other.
But putting all that aside, the story is quite interesting and it is almost heartwarming to watch this young man mature (albeit in an incredibly short period of time). And there is a wealth of information about subjects that a young person might otherwise be too shy, embarrassed or proud to ask about.
I enjoyed the read and would read the sequel that I understand is out there somewhere.
The vegetarian recipes included in an appendix are a nice touch too.
This book was released for the Canada Day release challenge running from June 25 to July 4 in celebration of Canadian books and authors.
To the finder of this book:
Welcome to the wonderful and wacky world of BookCrossing! Here you'll find a unique and worldwide community of book lovers sharing their books. This book is now yours! Read it, enjoy it. Keep it or pass it on to someone you know or even release it back into the wild as I did. If you make a journal entry (either anonymously or as a BookCrossing member) all previous readers of this book will be notified by e-mail and can follow this book on its travels. BookCrossing is free to join, completely confidential (you are known only by your screen name and no one is ever given your email address) and it's a whole lot of fun!
I hope you enjoy this book by a Canadian author and that you have a great Canada Day!