Book Review: The Round House by Louise Erdrich

Book Review: The Round House by Louise Erdrich

I’ve been a fan of life and love on the reservation as told by Louise Erdrich since I first read “Love Medicine” back in college. Her latest, “The Round House,” doesn't disappoint. Without giving away any details, it is a powerful story of justice and retribution as told through the eyes of Joe, the then teenage son of the tribe’s judge. Personally, I love when adult stories are told through a younger prospective, and if you like this point of view, I’d also recommend “Room” by Emma Donoghue. In “The Round House,” the story winds around themes of strong friendship, family, and North Dakota Indian culture while quietly reiterating the unfortunate plight of modern Native Americans. Like most of Erdrich’s novels, memorable characters and familiar family names reappear like Nanapush and Mooshum. One some level “The Round House” is also a coming age story, of how a sheltered, comparatively well-off Joe is thrust into complex situations and new emotions. Joe also works to address what defines good from evil, and when vigilante justice is a proportionate response. You’ll also find yourself hungry for banana bread by the end of the book, which goes to show Erdrich’s magic.

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