Margin Notes: The Round House

The Round HouseThe Round House by Louise Erdrich
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was a book I couldn't put down. I read it on the elevator to work, at a restaurant while waiting for my friends to arrive, I picked it up to sneak in a couple pages while my pasta water was boiling. I think I couldn't put it down because the book was really well written, the characters were compelling, the plot was shocking, the perfect pace (the mystery adding to the urgency to read it), and I was learning about a culture I really don't know much about.

The story is a bit of a coming of age story, told by Joe, a Native American teen living on a reservation in North Dakota in the 80s. His father is a judge, he is an only child, and he has a close knit extended family and a close knit group of friends. His mother is brutally attacked, and he takes on the duty of figuring out who did it and grapples with the meaning of justice. There are elements of Native American Folklore that I found particularly compelling, there's religion (Catholicism and that of his tribe) and interesting questions that come along with it, there are elements of tradition and law and what that means to the community and town.

I loved this book and highly recommend it. I think I need to let it sit a little before I write any more. But don't wait! Go pick this up today! It's an absolutely stunning book.

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