Dream Wheels

Richard Wagamese, Author . St. Martin's $24.95 (398p) ISBN 978-0-312-35926-3

Wagamese (Keeper N' Me ) threads Native Canadian lore and spirituality into his generous and sentimental Western. Rodeo bull rider Joe Willie Wolfchild, eight seconds away from becoming the #1 ranked "All-Round Cowboy," suffers a career-ending accident that leads him to retreat to the family ranch, where his parents, grandparents and physiotherapist try to coax him back onto his feet. Meanwhile, 15-year-old Aiden Hartley, a disaffected city kid jailed for his role in a botched armed robbery, and his abused mother, Claire, are shepherded by a sympathetic cop (who happens to be a friend of the Wolfchilds) to the Wolfchild ranch, where they can mend their fractured relationship and get Aiden on a better track. Claire takes to the country life and to the Wolfchilds, who represent the stability she's always wanted. Aiden, not one for the "yippee cay-yay" stuff, locks horns with Joe Willie until the similarities in their warrior spirits bring them together. Aiden helps Joe Willie restore a '34 Ford pickup, and Joe Willie teaches Aiden to ride bulls. From there, the narrative grows predictably uplifting, and Wagamese's tendency to carry on (and on) about the romance of cowboy life wears thin. But the novel remains a worthy testament to the healing power of family and tradition. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 06/05/2006
Release date: 08/01/2006
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 416 pages - 978-0-385-66200-0
Hardcover - 398 pages - 978-0-385-66199-7
Ebook - 978-0-385-67376-1
Paperback - 418 pages - 978-1-57131-117-7
Open Ebook - 418 pages - 978-1-57131-932-6
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