I was speaking to a literary colleague the other day who suggested that the novel Blue Saltwater lacked balance since the antagonist, Brother Denny Boyle is portrayed as an extremely evil detestable man. My colleague is of the opinion that the story was too one sided, since the vast majority of teachers in aboriginal schools were altruistic, kind, loving individuals who really wanted to help these kids toward a better life. He is of the opinion that many of the claims of abuse are instigated by greedy lawyers who are not interested in anything but lining their own pockets. They convince former students that accusing teachers of abuse is a no brainer whether it be true or not, since the government or religious denomination will quickly pay out big money to make the issue go away. Even if the former students have a change of heart later on, they can never recant their testimony since they will then be charged with perjury.

Are we really supposed to believe that all the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Testimony is a crock or at the least, highly exaggerated?

In the book, Father Joe Murphy and Brother Tremblay do portray this other side of things. However, the novel is not about picking sides. It is a work of fiction that explores how the individual lives of the characters were affected by a dysfunctional social engineering experiment into which they became embroiled.