Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Great Canadian Read

Finished November 25
Ragged Company by Richard Wagamese
I absolutely loved this book. Wagamese really got inside the head of his main characters and made me feel like I was there too.
Four of the main characters are homeless people, living in a large city: Amelia One Sky (also known as One for the Dead), Timber, Double Dick, and Digger. They have gradually found each other and now move through the major part of their day as a group. As the book begins, they decide to take refuge from the cold by going to a movie. They encounter the fifth main character, Granite, at the movie theatre, and continue to run into him as they keep going to movies.
When Digger finds a cigarette package that still contains some cigarettes as well as money and a lottery ticket, their lives begin to change. The lottery ticket turns out to be a big winner, $13.5 million, but they can't claim the money as none of the four have identification. They bring Granite in to assist them.
As their lives transform, we see how they adjust to their new situation. We also see how they got to be where they now are and how they deal with their pasts now.
Working in a profession where I encounter homeless people on a daily basis, I found this book very moving. How one sees the world is a big part of the plot.

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