One of the most revered novelists of our time - a brilliant chronicler of Native-American life - Louise Erdrich returns to the territory of her bestselling, Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves with The Round House, transporting readers to the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota. It is an exquisitely told story of a boy on the cusp of manhood who seeks justice and understanding in the wake of a terrible crime that upends and forever transforms his family.
Riveting and suspenseful, arguably the most accessible novel to date from the creator of Love Medicine, The Beet Queen, and The Bingo Palace, Erdrichs The Round House is a page-turning masterpiece of literary fiction - at once a powerful coming-of-age story, a mystery, and a tender, moving novel of family, history, and culture.
Small trees had attacked my parents house at the foundation. They were just seedlings with one or two rigid, healthy leaves. Nevertheless, the stalky shoots had managed to squeeze through knife cracks in the decorative brown shingles covering the cement blocks. They had grown into the unseen wall and it was difficult to pry them loose. My father wiped his palm across his forehead and damned their toughness. I was using a rusted old dandelion fork with a splintered handle; he wielded a long, slim iron fireplace
poker that was probably doing more harm than good. As my father prodded away blindly at the places where he sensed roots might have penetrated, he was surely making convenient holes in the mortar for next years seedlings.
Whenever I succeeded in working loose a tiny tree, I placed it like a trophy beside me on the narrow sidewalk that surrounded the house. There were ash shoots, elm, maple, box elder, even a good-sized catalpa, which my father...
Erdrich holds back little when it comes to seeking emotional resolution for her characters; her novel offers the daring justice that real life seldom affords. Readers intrigued by literature on adolescents coping amid violence will find a striking entry that inspires conversation.
(Reviewed by Karen Rigby).
Full Review (907 words).
Known as the Chippewa; Ojibway; Ojibwa; and in their own words, the Anishinabe, (meaning "original man" and alluding to a creation story); the Ojibwe are thought to have migrated from the northeast (perhaps from the mouth of the St. Lawrence River, according to late nineteenth-century history). They then settled in Southern Canada as well as the Great Lakes region of the United States. They organized by clans, often named after birds, animals, or fish, and maintained a woodlands lifestyle, including fishing, trapping, gathering wild rice, and maple sugaring. Excellent hunters, the Ojibwe prospered during the French fur trade, began acquiring weapons, and became one of the most powerful Native American groups. Ojibwe in the plains regions ...
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