Instaread Summary of LaRose by Louise Erdrich
Four out of five stars
This novel is convoluted, with many characters and there is a great deal of temporal traveling. It is based on the binding theme of the Ojibwe culture of North Dakota over a span of almost 200 years. The trigger event is a very freak hunting accident. Five-year-old Dusty Ravich fell out of a tree just when an experienced hunter (Landreaux Iron) was shooting a deer. The bullet kills Dusty instead and although the hunter is cleared of all wrongdoing, following Ojibwe tradition Iron presents his own son to the Ravich family as a replacement.
The summary is very dense, as the novel has many characters with complex and intertwined relationships. It is hard to follow the specifics, as the characters have major flaws such as suicidal tendencies and chemical dependency. There are also supernatural aspects involving ghosts and other aspects of the Ojibwe culture.
This is a novel that does temporal shifts, deals with the differences between the Ojibwe and white cultures and contains many characters with major issues both internal and relationally. With so much going on in the book, it is unlikely that any summary could ever truly explain it. This one tries, but after finishing it, you feel like you just had a book read to you by an auctioneer.
This book was made available for free for review purposes.