Hailed in the US as a Native-American To Kill A Mockingbird, and shortlisted for the US National Book Award, The Round House is Louise Erdrich's undeniable - and unmissable - masterpiece.
One Sunday in 1988, thirteen-year-old Joe Coutts learns that his mother has been the victim of a brutal attack by a man on their North Dakota reservation. Joe's mother is traumatized and afraid. She takes to her bed, and refuses to talk to anyone - including the police; meanwhile his father, a tribal judge, endeavours to wrest justice from a situation that defies his keenest efforts; and young Joe's moral and emotional landscape shifts on its child's axis. Frustrated, confused and nursing a complicated fury, Joe sets out with his best friends Cappy, Zack and Angus in search of answers that might put his mother's attacker behind bars - and set his family's world straight again. Or so he hopes. The Round House is a powerful and deeply humane story of a young boy pitched prematurely into an unjust adult world. It confirms Louise Erdrich as one of America's most distinctive contemporary novelists.
Read Caroline Baum's Review:
Louise Erdrich summons powerful storytelling forces to address the issue of rape in native American Indian communities. In this sombre tale of compounded tragedies, she creates a thirteen year old boy, wise beyond his years, faced with his mother's rape. When she withdraws into herself, the boy and his father, a tribal law judge of great dignity and wisdom try to discover the identity of her attacker. Gradually the complexities of the case unfold, resonant with issues of race, identity and definitions of justice. This is a marvellous but solemn book about so many things: a classic rite of passage story with a very dark side, a story about indigenous culture eroded through the constant attrition of entrenched prejudice, reminiscent in its sense of integrity of To Kill a Mockingbird. An austere and masterly story of spoiled innocence.
About the Author
Louise Erdrich is the author of thirteen novels as well as volumes of poetry, children's books and a memoir of early motherhood. Her debut novel, Love Medicine (1984) won the National Book Critics' Circle Award. The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse (2001) was a finalist for the US National Book Award. Her last novel, The Plague of Doves (2008) was a New York Times bestseller. Louise Erdrich lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookshop.
The Round House showcases [Erdrich's] extraordinary ability to delineate the ties of love, resentment, need, duty and sympathy that bind families together...[a] powerful novel. New York Times Emotionally compelling...Joe is an incredibly endearing narrator, full of urgency and radiant candor...the story he tells transforms a sad, isolated crime into a revelation about how maturity alters our relationship with our parents, delivering us into new kinds of love and pain. Washington Post The Round House is filled with stunning language that recalls shades of Faulkner, Garcia Marquez and Toni Morrison. Deeply moving, this novel ranks among Erdrich's best work, and it is impossible to forget. USA Today A gripping mystery with a moral twist: revenge might be the harshest punishment, but only for the victims. Entertainment Weekly Erdrich threads a gripping mystery and multilayered portrait of a community through a deeply affecting coming-of-age novel. O, the Oprah Magazine
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 1st May 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Dimensions (cm): 23.4 x 15.3 x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.45
Edition Number: 1