The Round House by Louise Erdrich
(Harper Collins, 2012, 336 pages)
Louise Erdrich is hands down one of my favorite authors and I’m so glad she won the National Book Award for this title. The story is set on a North Dakota reservation in the late 1980s and revolves around the Coutts family. Joe is 13 years old and is enjoying his summer vacation – until his mother is brutally attacked. His mother, Geraldine, is traumatized from the attack and refuses to speak about what happened. She sequesters herself in her room, locked within herself. Joe and his father do what they can to figure what happened and to try and bring about justice but the process is painfully slow and frustrating. Joe eventually sets out to see what he can uncover on his own because he can’t stand seeing what this has done to his mother.
As with all Erdrich’s books, there are a wide range of characters that help bring this story to life. From extended family members to Joe’s three best friends – everyone is affected by Geraldine’s attack. Connections are made, conclusions are drawn, but politics end up getting in the way of justice…
This book drew me in almost immediately and has made me eager to revisit Erdrich’s older titles. Her storytelling abilities are really outstanding. Loved this book.