Tuesday, 24 June 2008

American Literary Fiction

Finished June 23
The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich
Erdich follows a small community at a reservation and the town nearby over 3 generations. In the early days there was an unsolved murder of a family. Only the baby was spared. Some in the community took action against supposed perpetrators, and the results of that still affect the community. There is intermarriage between the white townfolk and the native Ojibwe that also impacts the community.
One of the main speakers here is Evelina Harp. Her mother is Ojibwe and her father white and she has grown up with her grandfather Mooshum's stories about the past, which include the plague of doves of the title.
Another speaker is Antone Bazil Coutts, a mixed blood judge who used to live in town and now lives on the reservation and works as a tribal judge. He talks of the past and of his own experiences.
There are a couple of other interesting characters who share in the narration of this story and have their own unique views.
I liked how the history took them back to the days of Louis Riel and the rift between the church and the Metis. It dealt with the controversy of that history in how the characters relate to the church today as well.
I loved this book and will look for some of Erdrich's earlier works.

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