Summary and book reviews of The Sentence by Louise Erdrich

The Sentence

by Louise Erdrich

The Sentence by Louise Erdrich X
The Sentence by Louise Erdrich
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     Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
    Nov 9, 2021, 400 pages

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Book Summary

In this stunning and timely novel, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award–winning author Louise Erdrich creates a wickedly funny ghost story, a tale of passion, of a complex marriage, and of a woman's relentless errors.

Louise Erdrich's latest novel, The Sentence, asks what we owe to the living, the dead, to the reader and to the book. A small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the store's most annoying customer. Flora dies on All Souls' Day, but she simply won't leave the store. Tookie, who has landed a job selling books after years of incarceration that she survived by reading "with murderous attention," must solve the mystery of this haunting while at the same time trying to understand all that occurs in Minneapolis during a year of grief, astonishment, isolation, and furious reckoning.

The Sentence begins on All Souls' Day 2019 and ends on All Souls' Day 2020. Its mystery and proliferating ghost stories during this one year propel a narrative as rich, emotional, and profound as anything Louise Erdrich has written.

Coming soon.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
Pulitzer winner Erdrich returns with a scintillating story about a motley group of Native American booksellers haunted by the spirit of a customer...More than a gripping ghost story, this offers profound insights into the effects of the global pandemic and the collateral damage of systemic racism. It adds up to one of Erdrich's most sprawling and illuminating works to date.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
The novel's humor is mordant...The characters...wrestle with generations of racism against Black and Indigenous Americans. Erdrich's love for bookselling is clear, as is her complicated affection for Minneapolis and the people who fight to overcome institutional hatred and racism. A novel that reckons with ghosts—of both specific people and also the shadows resulting from America's violent, dark habits.

Booklist (starred review)
The many-hued, finely patterned weave of Erdrich's funny, evocative, painful, and redemptive ghost story includes strands of autobiography…Erdrich's insights into what her city Minneapolis experienced in 2020 are piercing; all her characters are enthralling, and her dramatization of why books are essential to our well-being is resounding.

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