LaRose by Louise Erdrich
What’s it about?
This novel takes place in 1999, near tribal lands in North Dakota. Landreaux Irons goes hunting one morning and takes aim at a deer. As he squeezes the trigger, the deer bolts and he sees a blur. It does not take long to realize he has shot his best friend Peter's son by accident. Landreaux and his wife turn to tradition, and the sweat lodge in their grief. They come to the decision in the lodge to follow an ancient custom and give their son LaRose to Peter and his wife Nola. "Our son will be your son now" they tell him.
What did it make me think about?
What a starting point to talk about family, grief, and forgiveness- all set in a current Native American culture that I know little about.
Should I read it?
So I had high expectations. "The Round House" (Louise Erdrich's last book) won the National Book Award and was one of my favorite books of the last few years. Ms. Erdrich's writing and keen observations never disappoint, but at times this novel felt like work to me. I am so glad to have read it, but I must say that it was slow at times. Ms. Erdrich writes about difficult topics with such precision and grace that it would be a shame to miss one of her stories- even if it takes some discipline to keep on reading.
From there, he can see down the hill into the marrow of the reservation town. High and mentally blasted as he is, he sees into each heart. Pain is dotted all around, glowing from the deep chest wells of his people."
If you liked this try-
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
The Bartender's Tale by Ivan Doig
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews
7 1/2 stars
best of spring/summer 2017
best of winter
best of summer 2014
last spring favorites
on my nightstand
edge of your seat
― Charles William Eliot
3 to 4- I found some aspect of this book redeeming but would not recommend it.
5 to 6- I really enjoyed something about this book (characters, plot, meaning etc.) but it was uneven. Some aspects were stronger than others.
7 to 8- It was a good book. I liked lots of aspects of this book. I would recommend it.
9 to 10- I was sorry to turn the last page. I highly recommend this book!