Reading Challenge 2015: Book 20/52: The Round House by Louise Erdrich

Book 20 is “The Round House” by Louise Erdrich. The book is set in the 1988 on a native American reservation in North Dakota: 

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. (Goodreads) 


Joe is the narrator of this coming of age, confessional and adventure, mishmash of a story. I enjoyed this book and that surprised me. I got this book as a parting gift in 2013 when I left LH. Therefore, for the PopSugar Reading Challenge, this is the book that I own but never read. 

I started reading this book in 2013, days after I got it, I liked the book summary offered in the book jacket, but  when I got but by page three when Bazil asks Joe: Where is your mother? , sans quotation marks to indicate direct speech.  I paused and scanned the next few pages, no markers for direct speech so I stopped reading. This time around, I accepted the exclusion of the punctuation for direct speech  and read slowly through and I am glad I did. Ms. Erdrich offers a very descriptive tale of life on a reservation and mixed in are first peoples tribal myths. Now I am no expert on Native American culture, in fact I’d say that I have zero knowledge of the Native Americans and have no idea how any of them would feel about the treatment of their cultural knowledge in this book, but I thoroughly enjoyed the folklore. 


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