Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

How is it that Young Adult books like this are sitting alongside adult fiction? The storyline of Round House certainly has mature elements, but with a thriteen-year-old boy as the protagonist and hero of the story (and all the accompanying fascination with breasts and boners that come with that particular demographic) this book is soundly in the YA category. But because it was on the library shelf with other adult fiction, I kept expecting the teenage main character to grow up and conclude the story as wiser more enlightened, perhaps also more jaded, adult. But no. I'm increasingly baffled at the preponderance of teen books in mainstream reading lists. I don't get it.

Anyway, the story is touching and heartbreaking and compelling enough to see through to the end, but left me annoyed that it didn't go deeper.

(back cover)
In this bittersweet coming-of-age tale, Erdrich returns to the fictional setting of many of her novels, a North Dakota Ojibwe reservation. There in the spring of 1988, 13-year-old Joe's mother is raped; when efforts to bring the attacker to justice are thwarted by a labyrinth of laws applying to Indian lands, Joe considers taking action himself. Nominated for a National Book Award, the novel is another of Erdirch's haunting portraits of Native American life, tender but unsentimental and buoyed by subtle wit.

1 comment:

Pooch said...

I like Erdich's writing. Haven't read this one though.