The first turning point in Uphill From Here (see previous posts) will be Dev’s realization that he does need to achieve reconciliation, and that working toward it will be a lifelong preoccupation.
Despite the hardships he has faced and overcome, Dev still inhabits a zone of innocence He isn’t aware of inherited transgressions that have to be addressed if he is going to make his world right. Because of his lack of knowledge, he can proceed as if there is no need to distract himself with anything outside the line of sight between his present and imagined future.
But with understanding comes personal responsibility. First, he has to admit his adamant rejection of his mother, Debbie – his attempt to eradicate even her memory – has been a hateful and hurtful course. Then he has to learn that forgiveness is not his to give or withhold; it is up to Debbie to forgive or blame herself, his only choice being to either help or hinder her, to show compassion or vengefulness.
Then he gets to know Marie, and is drawn to her in his first sexually charged encounter. But through her and her brother Jason, he is forced to recognize more and more deeply the urgent, but dauntingly complex need for reconciliation between EuroCans and First Nations people. The perplexing irony is his love for Marie deepens the more he comes to understand her passion and resolve for her people; but at the same time he sees how difficult it might be for them to become friends, let alone lovers. Their struggle with this paradox lies at the heart of Uphill From Here.
Maria’s brother, Jason, who represents an even more hardline approach to the assertion of First Nations rights will, in a sense, express points of view Marie suppresses because she loves Devlin more than she is prepared to admit.
From my journal
April 3, 2018