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Blue Saltwater by Dan Green

Blue Saltwater by Dan GreenBlue Saltwater by Dan Green. Published with CreateSpace. 2010. Available at Amazon.

Blue Saltwater is a novel aptly named, as the title signifies not only the protagonists love of the ocean and the west coast, but also all the tears shed on account of Canada’s embarrassing Residential School system. This book will be of special interest to book clubs.

Revenge turns a homecoming celebration into tragedy when fire kills the family of sixteen year old aboriginal Blue Saltwater, destroying his boyhood dreams and forcing his relocation from the pristine islands of Haida Gwaii to the St. Ignatius Residential School for Boys. Exiled and forgotten within this predatory cauldron of thugs and pedophiles, Blue executes a daring escape and reveals the abusive underworld of Brother Denny Boyle.

A harrowing trip through the wild back-country of British Columbia leads Blue to Vancouver where he is overwhelmed by the excitement and false glitter of the notorious downtown east-side extinguishing his desire to return home and leading to his descent into addiction. A chance encounter with a remnant of his past brings rehabilitation and a journey by sail along the rugged northwest coast to return Blue to his island home so that he may regain his ancestral birthright. Disaster strikes off the rocky shoals of Cape St. James and presents Blue with the ultimate challenge to his survival and the reclamation of the life that was stolen from him years before.

Blue Saltwater is an historical drama set in British Columbia in the late seventies that intertwines the mystic legends of Haida Gwaii with those of the Virgin of Guadalupe and traces the lives of two men—Blue Saltwater, a restless teenager from the Queen Charlotte Islands and Father Joe Murphy, a youthful priest from Ontario whose destinies collide as they try to escape the social boundaries that bind them to lives of adversity.

Editor’s Note: This book is one of my personal favourites. Blue Saltwater would make an excellent book club choice, as there is much to incite vibrant book club discussion: the failed residential school system, the strength it takes for Blue to to pull himself out of the quagmire of abuse, whether cruelty to his abusers is justified, whether he should be blamed or admired, etc.

About the Author

Dan Green grew up in Saskatchewan, where he received a well-rounded education from both Catholic nuns and Jesuit priests in Prince Albert and Regina. He graduated from the Faculty of Dentistry at the University of Manitoba in 1969 and practiced for thirty-four years in West Vancouver before retiring in 2003.

Read a REVIEW of Blue Saltwater

Visit Dan Green’s WEBSITE


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Posted by Pearl on Dec 16 2010. Filed under Indie Books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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3 Comments for “Blue Saltwater by Dan Green”

  1. Jennifer Irvine

    When I finished Blue Saltwater by Dan Green, two words came to mind – intense and momentum! I was hooked almost from the beginning.

    Dan touched on many hard themes to write about including alcohol and drug addiction, abusive family relations, residential school abuse, HIV/AIDS, religion, and living in the Downtown East Side. Consequently, there were many threads to hold together and Dan didn’t lose one of them, finishing each off to a satisfying end.

    I really cared about the book’s main character, Blue Saltwater, and found myself both wincing when things were rough for him, and routing for him to live through the often bleak situations he encountered.

    I thought the dialogue was real, intense, and gritty. I loved the little flairs Dan included in his novel such as referring to a dentist convention taking place in downtown Vancouver when the character Luci was working the streets outside.

    I thought the book ended exactly when it should have – no padding to make it longer for which I am always grateful.

    I hope Dan writes another adventure like this one soon!

  2. Editors note: This is one of the best books I read in 2010. I highly recommend it.

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