Touching Spirit Bear

What is your reaction to a specific relationship, event, behaviour, or message in this book so far

be clear about what you are reacting to and exactly what makes you respond as you do

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I do not know how far you have read in the book. I found the message or theme of healing to be most effective through the book.

The author develops the theme of healing across several different dimensions. First, on the purely physical level, the Spirit Bear's attack on Cole leaves Cole physically hurt and permanently weakened. This physical pain and arduous path to healing is analogous to the suffering that Peter previously endured at the hands of Cole. In many ways, both of these instances of physical suffering and subsequent healing make later personal and psychological healing possible.

Second, at the psychological or emotional level, healing occurs when anger subsides, when Cole forgives, and when Peter experiences relief from his depression. In fact, many of the characters in the book are portrayed as on a path of healing through this novel. Edwin and Garvey are trying to make up for their past offenses. Even Cole's mother begins to open up and get over her troubled marriage with Cole's dad.

Finally, healing in this novel occurs at the community level. While the goal of Circle Justice is to serve justice to Cole and have him grow personally, the entire community involved benefits. From sending Cole's father to jail for child abuse, to allowing Peter to come closer to forgiving Cole, all of these acts of justice and forgiveness allow the community in Minneapolis here depicted to emerge stronger than it was before.