A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich, is a gripping novel about a long-unsolved crime in a small North Dakota town and how, years later, the consequences are still being felt by the community and nearby Ojibwe reservation. Though generations have passed, the town of Pluto continues to be haunted by the murder of ...
A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich, is a gripping novel about a long-unsolved crime in a small North Dakota town and how, years later, the consequences are still being felt by the community and nearby Ojibwe reservation. Though generations have passed, the town of Pluto continues to be haunted by the murder of a farm family. Evelina Harp--part Ojibwe, part white--is an ambitious young girl whose grandfather, a repository of family and tribal history, harbors knowledge of the violent past. And Judge Antone Bazil Coutts, who bears witness, understands the weight of historical injustice better than anyone. Through the distinct and winning voices of three unforgettable narrators, the collective stories of two interwoven communities ultimately come together to reveal a final wrenching truth. National Book Award-winning author of The Round House, Louise Erdrich delves into the fraught waters of historical injustice and the impact of secrets kept too long. Told with heartbreak and humor, this Harper Perennial Deluxe Modern Classic features beautiful cover artwork on uncoated stock, French flaps, and deckle-edge pages.
This book took me a little while to get into but once there I was hooked. Very well written and all characters were interesting and i loved the way they all came together
Aug 16, 2009
Tragedy is Beautiful
I think I will remember this book for a very long time as that which introduced me to Louise Erdrich, because after picking up "The Plague of Doves," I want to read her entire canon. This does not happen often. It happened when I first read Margaret Atwood, but I cannot think of any other author whose work so captivated me on the first reading.
At times hilarious, morose, disturbing, and utterly heart-breaking, "The Plague of Doves," weaves together multiple narrators who offer their own perspectives on their small town of Pluto, North Dakota, and two terrible linked crimes which occurred there shortly after the turn of the century. This is one of those novels that in its own way defies "aboutness." Yes, there is a plot, but the book is so much more than what happens in it. The honesty of her characters and the vividness of their joys and trials is so real that their passions and sorrows practically infiltrate the reader's own and it's all a person can do to stop thinking about the book and its characters when going about one's day.
I cannot recommend this book highly enough. As I stated at the beginning, from here on out I will be picking up anything from Louise Erdrich that I can get my hands on.
Jan 7, 2009
I echo the above first review in all respects and can't find anything to add to the description of the novel. The tale is gripping and both artistically and technically beyond reproach. It created for me the paradox of wanting to know the denouement of each character and their story, but feeling reluctant finish. The entails some reflection on the part of the reader when Erdrich ties together the loose ends. Aside from the beauty of the book, the need to reflect contributes to its haunting qualities.
Oct 10, 2008
Louise Erdrich is mapping out territory whose predecessors are Gabriel Garcia Marquez and William Faulkner. By employing multiple narrative voices, she is forging a wholly imagined world within the restricted geography of the Plains, and in doing so dramatizes the intertwined fates of her Indian and white characters. In The Plague of Doves, she weaves a masterful multigenerational tale that begins with the murder of a white family--whose infant is spirited away by a Native American character--and the hanging of three men and a boy, one of whom survives, in the practice of vigilante "rough justice." This crime from the past infects the dying present of Pluto, a settlement on the edge of the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota, as the lives of the ancestors of both victims and victimizers become helplessly braided in love, guilt, mania, and loss. This is the sort of ambitious novelistic mural of a whole community that Nobel Prize winner Toni Morrison was once capable of.
Publishers Weekly, 2008-01-14 Erdrich's 13th novel, a multigenerational tour de force of sin, redemption, murder and vengeance, finds its roots in the 1911 slaughter of a farming family near Pluto, N.Dak. The family's infant daughter is spared, and a posse forms, incorrectly blames three Indians and lynches them. One, Mooshum Milk, miraculously survives. Over the next century, descendants of both the hanged men and the lynch mob develop relationships that become deeply entangled, and their disparate stories are held together via principal narrator Evelina, Mooshum Milk's granddaughter, who comes of age on an Indian reservation near Pluto in the 1960s and '70s and forms two fateful adolescent crushes: one on bad-boy schoolmate Corwin Peace and one on a nun. Though Evelina doesn't know it, both are descendants of lynch mob members. The plot splinters as Evelina enrolls in college and finds work at a mental asylum; Corwin spirals into a life of crime; and a long-lost violin (its backstory is another beautiful piece of the mosaic) takes on massive significance. Erdrich plays individual narratives off one another, dropping apparently insignificant clues that build to head-slapping revelations as fates intertwine and the person responsible for the 1911 killing is identified. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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