Monday, September 12, 2016


By Louise Erdrich
Harper, 2016. 373 pgs. Fiction

I tried five times to write a short first paragraph for this review describing the plot of LaRose.  However, I just could not seem to do justice to the series of events and relationships represented in Erdrich’s new novel. So, I’ll have to start beyond the storyline and say that LaRose is a powerful story about family, community, redemption, revenge, friendship, loss, and forgiveness. 

The story focuses on two families and one very little boy given the responsibility to heal the wounds caused by a fateful hunting accident.  But vibrant secondary characters enrich the narrative and provide dynamic alternate perspectives that I found fascinating.

Erdrich has such a gift for weaving complicated stories with beautiful language.  She brilliantly creates a sense of place, both physically and emotionally.  Her characters are rich and vibrant.  Her themes are nuanced and insightful.  All this makes her novels a joy to read despite telling sad stories about hard things. 


1 comment:

CKN said...

LaRose is the first of Erdrich’s books I’ve read, and now I understand why she is always praised so highly. I found this book full of complex characters who I liked and then disliked with each new chapter -- especially Maggie. These characters combined with Erdrich's unique way of tying together the main story set in contemporary North Dakota with the stories of LaRose’s ancestors for whom he was named, created a novel I couldn’t stop thinking about even once it was over.