The Round House


The Round House by  Louise Erdrich -336 pages
Book Blurb:
One Sunday in the spring of 1988, a woman living on a reservation in North Dakota is attacked. The details of the crime are slow to surface as Geraldine Coutts is traumatized and reluctant to relive or reveal what happened, either to the police or to her husband, Bazil, and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. In one day, Joe's life is irrevocably transformed. He tries to heal his mother, but she will not leave her bed and slips into an abyss of solitude. Increasingly alone, Joe finds himself thrust prematurely into an adult world for which he is ill prepared.
While his father, who is a tribal judge, endeavors to wrest justice from a situation that defies his efforts, Joe becomes frustrated with the official investigation and sets out with his trusted friends, Cappy, Zack, and Angus, to get some answers of his own. Their quest takes them first to the Round House, a sacred space and place of worship for the Ojibwe. And this is only the beginning.

My Review: 3 stars
This started out entirely likeable, mysterious, savage and engaging but then turned slowly into a coming of age story as soon as the mystery was solved. The relationship between father and son and son and best friend Cappy were beautifully told as well as respected. I learned a lot from this book about the Indian laws and the still infuriating boundary laws these people are subjected to. The rape was tragic and there was a quick turning of the pages to learn more, but truly, there were far too many subplots for my liking. I originally had this on my best of 2012 but ending up taking it off. It’s a good book, but not what I’d hoped for from this author.
Quotes I liked:
- “ I stood there in the shadowed doorway thinking with my tears. Yes, tears can be thoughts, why not?”
- “ I set the phone back down in the cradle. Later that moment struck me as very funny. I had instinctively rejected my mother, left her in the cradle the way she’d left me in mine.”
- “ I was thankful for the way things had turned out. Before we were born, my twin had compassion to crush against me, to prefect me by deforming me, so that I would be the one who was spared.
Tags: 2012, Fiction, Native American, Coming of Age, Mystery

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