The Lesser Blessed
The Lesser Blessed, based on Richard Van Camp’s book of the same name, is a powerful coming-of-age story — edgy, stark, and at times, darkly funny —that centers around Larry, a Dogrib Indian growing up in the small northern town of Fort Simmer. Larry is trying to cope with a painful past and find his place in a confusing and stressful modern world. Skinny, nervy, and self-deprecating, the 16-year-old is an appealing mixture of bravado and vulnerability. His life has held many terrors. The story, narrated by Larry, follows him through a few months of his life, exposing us to his present day quick tongue, hallucinations, appreciation for Iron Maiden, and fantasies about Juliet Hope, his high school crush. Through his flashbacks we learn where Larry has been. Eventually, through his friendship with Johnny Beck, a Métis from Hay River who moves to town, Larry develops an expanded world consciousness and a stability that helps him face his dark memories — and create a brighter future.