Great quote: "I could feel nothing, but my thoughts ran wild. Always I kept going back to the day I dug the trees out of the foundation of our house. How tough those roots had clung. Maybe they had pulled out the blocks that held out house up. And how funny, strange, that I thing can grow so powerful even when planted in the wrong place. Ideas too, I muttered. Ideas." (Page 293)
Book summary: When a 13 year old boy's mother is brutally attacked, lives are changed forever.
My thoughts: The Round House by Louise Erdrich is both a mystery and a thriller.
What makes this book a 5-star book is all of the mystery parts. First the perpetrator must be identified, then the book wrestles with how justice will finally be served. The book manages to carry readers to the end with the single mystery of how justice will be served. Set on the Ojibwe reservation, it's also clear that justice might be a matter of "if" it will be served at all.
A drawback to this book however, is the thriller side of it. While the plot itself is brilliantly fascinating, the book lumbered along at a surprisingly slow pace, perhaps due to the fact that the narrator of The Round House is 13 year old Joe. It is Joe's mother that is brutally attacked and it is his tribal judge father that searches for answers and results. However, since Joe is at the age where he is transiting from childhood to adult, seeing the events solely through Joe's eyes forces the reader to continually reassess what is actually true. The result is a storyline that is at times confusing, dotted by sprawling rabbit trails.
The Round House by Louise Erdrich has won numerous awards and accolades. Most notably, this book was awarded the 2012 National Book Award for Fiction. Seems the public agrees since right now on Amazon, the book has 4.5 stars with nearly 1,700 reviewers. Very impressive.
Louise Erdrich is a master author, creating vivid scenes that grip the reader. Forcing the readers to see the crime through the filter of reservation laws and traditions, creates a madness that might not hold true to other parts of America. For that reason, The Round House is a haunting story, sad and devastating, yet moving and memorable.
(Sensitive readers should be warned that this book does run the entire gamut of profanity, sex, violence, murder and more.)
Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
- Pages: 368
- Year originally published: 2012/2013 (reprint edition)
- Author: Louise Erdrich is the author of fourteen novels, volumes of poetry, children’s books, and a memoir of early motherhood. She lives in Minnesota and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore.
- Book Tour: My review is part of a book blog tour hosted by TLC Book Tours. Please visit TLC Book Tours for more reviews on this title and many more.
- Purchase on Amazon: The Round House by Louise Erdrich
(This is the artwork on my book cover.)