Dream Wheels

Publisher: Anchor Canada
From the acclaimed author of Keeper’n Me and For Joshua, Dream Wheels is a vital and unsparing novel from one of the most fascinating voices in Canadian writing.

Joe Willie Wolfchild is on the verge of becoming a World Champion rodeo cowboy when a legendary bull cripples him. At the same time, in the same city, Claire Hartley is brutally assaulted and her 14-year-old son, Aiden, is critically injured during a burglary. The young Ojibway-Sioux man, the black single mother and her mulatto son find their lives irrevocably changed.

Joe Willie, a rodeo cowboy since he was a child, smolders in angry silence over a deformed left arm and a limp that make it impossible for him to compete. Claire, a victim of numerous bad relationships, withdraws from men and swears a bitter celibacy. Aiden gains notoriety among his criminal peers and slips into a self-destructive spiral of drugs and violence.

Eager to find a place for her son to channel his explosive energies, Claire brings Aiden to a rodeo camp run by the Wolfchild family, where he is drawn to bull riding and proves to be a stunning natural. But Joe Willie refuses to have anything to do with the camp, remaining an aloof, mysterious presence to Claire and the boy.

Birch Wolfchild, Joe Willie’s father, sees the potential for Aiden to become a champion and for his son to heal himself, if they can move beyond anger to forge a partnership. Claire’s and Joe Willie’s wounds bring them together in a surprising romance, and beneath it all is Birch Wolfchild’s tale of the changing of the life of the Indian cowboy.

Dream Wheels is a story about change. Moving from the Wild West Shows of the late 1880s to the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas to a lush valley in the mountains, it tells the story of a people’s journey, a family’s vision,
a man’s reawakening, a woman’s recovery, and a boy’s emergence to manhood.


From the Hardcover edition.

READ AN EXCERPT

The Old Ones say that fate has a smell, a feel, a presence, a tactile heft in the air. Animals know it. It’s what brings hunter and prey together. They recognize the ancient call and there’s a quickening in the blood that drives the senses into edginess, readiness: the wild spawned in the scent. It’s why...
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PRAISE FOR

“Richard Wagamese is a born storyteller and Dream Wheels is his finest book yet. Cover to cover a ripping read.”
—Louise Erdrich

“A three-pronged story of redemption, kinship and healing. . . . Dream Wheels’s. . .wisdom is not community specific. It’s
universal.”
The Gazette (Montreal)

“Compelling. . . . With an opening passage reminiscent of Faulkner . . . Dream Wheels will delight cowboy literature fans, readers looking for a gorgeous turn of phrase, those interested in Native
culture, or anyone simply after an engaging and satisfying story.”
Calgary Herald

“A touching, life-affirming tale. . . . Wagamese is capable of true grace on the page.”
Winnipeg Free Press