May 02, 2008
Publisher: Harper Audio
Length: 11 hours 3
Narrator: Peter Francis James, Kathleen McInerney
Genre: Native American Fiction
Buy: Audible | Kindle
The unsolved murder of a farm family haunts the small, white, off-reservation town of Pluto, North Dakota. The vengeance exacted for this crime and the subsequent distortions of truth transform the lives of Ojibwe living on the nearby reservation and shape the passions of both communities for the next generation. The descendants of Ojibwe and white intermarry, their lives intertwine; only the youngest generation, of mixed blood, remains unaware of the role the past continues to play in their lives.
Evelina Harp is a witty, ambitious young girl, part Ojibwe, part white, who is prone to falling hopelessly in love. Mooshum, Evelina's grandfather, is a seductive storyteller, a repository of family and tribal history with an all-too-intimate knowledge of the violent past. Nobody understands the weight of historical injustice better than Judge Antone Bazil Coutts, a thoughtful mixed blood who witnesses the lives of those who appear before him, and whose own love life reflects the entire history of the territory.
In distinct and winning voices, Erdrich's narrators unravel the stories of different generations and families in this corner of North Dakota. Bound by love, torn by history, the two communities' collective stories finally come together in a wrenching truth.
Review:I really wanted to love this book but I struggled. Just when I thought I got a handle on what is happening I get lost again. This is the circular story of how the savage racist lynching of a group of Ojibwe and Metis men, implicating the guilty and the innocent affects generations. It is about the struggles of a family and the awakening of a young woman sexuality and the lies we tell ourselves. It is about too many things that swirl in circles and leave you confused but routing for both families to survive and move on.
Rich in atmosphere, history and lore. It is an interesting story but I'm not really quite sure I understood it all. I may try one of her other books to see if it is any easier to understand.