Someone to Walk With

  • Published: April 2003
  • Format: Perfect Bound Softcover(B/W)
  • Pages: 252
  • Size: 5.5x8.5
  • ISBN: 9781553954651
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The year is 1910 and Tommy Vincent of Vancouver, British Columbia, almost seventeen, has just completed grade eleven. A tragic boating accident, taking the lives of his parents, jolts him out of his life of youthful complacency. Adding to the trauma of the tragedy, Tommy's guardian uncle informs him that he was adopted as an infant. Tommy's real parents are a White man and an Indian woman. He also has a sister, a year younger than himself living in the coastal interior town of Hazelton in northern B.C.

On impulse, Tommy boards a ship bound for the frontier town of Port Essington on the north coast. From there he travels by paddlewheel river boat 180 miles inland along the Skeena River to Hazelton, known locally as The Forks or The Junction. With no clues as to his sister's name or whereabouts, his mission is to find her and to learn something of his roots.

From a vantage point on the bow of the riverboat, the Hazelton, Tommy sees first-hand the construction of the western portion of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad, Canada's second great transcontinental railroad, as it parallels the rugged and impervious shores of the mighty Skeena River. Along the way, he meets settlers, pioneers, prospectors, trappers, gamblers, telegraph linemen, wood-cutters, speculators, Corkscrew and Maybelle.

At The Forks, Tommy naively thinks he will find his sister right away and return to Vancouver on the next riverboat. However, he runs out of money and has to work as a wood-cutter and as a partner in a trapline venture. The harsh reality of frontier life, in a burgeoning dynamic segment of history, not only changed Tommy but changed the northern region of the province forever. The impact bluntly shaped him into a man of compassion, tolerance, resourcefulness and purpose.

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