Monday, May 02, 2016


Erdrich sets her newest novel in 1999 North Dakota. The first action of the book is a heart-stopper. (This isn't a spoiler, because all the blurbs and promo tell you from the get-go what will happen.) Landreaux, out hunting deer on the edge of his property, aims at a buck but shoots his next door neighbor's five-year-old son Dusty instead. Dusty does not survive. The two families are close, and their histories have been intertwined for years. In honor of an ancient Native American act of retribution, Landreaux and Emmaline turn over their son LaRose, who had been Dusty's best friend, to Dusty's parents Nola and Peter, telling them "Our son will be your son now." Heartbroken and stunned, the two families try to cope the best way they can, but in a way their attempts cause them all to feel the loss more deeply. LaRose is an amazing child, who is sensitive and caring and adept at understanding others' feelings. He tries his best to be what the families expect him to be, without demanding anything for himself. He is the last in a long line of LaRoses in the family, each of whom had special gifts that Erdrich reveals to the reader. Erdrich explores each member of the family's pain and eventual healing, along with giving us glimpses of life on and near the reservation. Recommended to readers who are curious about Native American life and like family dramas with depth and heart.
Submitted by Kelly Currie

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