The Round House – Louise Erdrich

The Round House

Published
16/05/2013

Publisher
Corsair

ISBN
9781472108166

Published
16/05/2013

Publisher
Corsair

ISBN
9781472108166

Source
www.lovereading.co.uk

My Rating
4 stars

This was my first encounter with Louise Erdrich’s writing and it was, for the most part, an extremely rewarding experience. It can be read on many different levels as, on  the surface, it’s a coming of age story but look a little deeper and there are insights into the nature of justice, cultural identity and family relationships.

Our narrator, Joe, has had to grow up very quickly after the horrific rape of his mother.  Following this brutal attack she retreats into her own world and Joe thinks finding the attacker is the only way he can bring her back from this limbo.  It will be difficult to bring her assailant to justice due to the legislative difficulty in prosecuting crimes committed by non-Natives on Native American territory.  Erdrich highlights the plight of Native American female rape victims, 86% of whom have non-Native assailants and very few are prosecuted.

Yes, there is a political agenda but the story of Joe and his gang of friends has great charm and warmth.  You get a glimpse of Native American culture via a cast of vibrant, engaging characters.   Admittedly the narrative has its meandering moments but stick with it and your attentive reading will be rewarded. Looking forward to catching up on many other gems from this author.

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