Review, Tour & Giveaway: The Round House

The Round HouseThe Round House
By Louise Erdrich
(Harper, Hardcover, 9780062065247, October 2012, 321pp.)

The Short of It:

The tension in this tightly written novel is subtle yet continues to build, leaving you exhausted in its wake.

The Rest of It:

Joe, a thirteen-year-old Ojibwe boy living on a reservation in North Dakota is forced to a grow-up quickly when his mother Geraldine is raped and nearly murdered. As the wife of a tribal judge, Geraldine realizes just how important jurisdiction is, but is unable to say exactly where the act took place. Was it on the reservation? Or not? She’s not sure, and as she slowly retreats into a world of her own, retreating not just from herself but from both her husband and son, no one is sure if they’ll ever find the answer. Frustrated by the pace of the investigation, Joe, along with the help of his friends slowly piece together the events of that day and what he finds puts him in a precarious position.

Although the pace of the story is a little slow, I was completely absorbed by the characters and never once doubted the realness of the story itself. It’s fiction, through and through but it felt genuine and plausible and I was touched many times by the love Joe felt for his mother. It’s not common for a teenage boy to show love for his mother so openly but her near death experience wakes something up within him that refuses to let him rest and it’s exhausting to go through it with him. The tension, the secretive nature of the case and the fact that Joe’s parents are trying to spare him the gritty details makes it all the more poignant.

I’ve heard that Erdrich is known for her poetic prose but I didn’t notice it so much here. Instead, I noticed the slow, skillful build of the story, her talent for character development and her ability to nail time and place. It’s set in the late 80’s on the reservation and every time I opened the book I felt as if I was there too.

In the end,  a satisfying read with some very memorable characters.

I have one copy to give away to one of my readers. To enter, check out the giveaway details below.

Louise Erdrich

Louise’s TLC tour stops.

TLC Book Tours

Source: Review and giveaway copy provided by the publisher via TLC Book Tours.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.


This giveaway is for one copy of  The Round House and is open to the US and Canada. A winner will be chosen randomly by me. The book will come directly from the publisher. Only one entry per person.  Giveaway closes on December 21, 2012 (pacific). I will contact the winner for his/her mailing address.

To enter the giveaway, please click here.

28 thoughts on “Review, Tour & Giveaway: The Round House”

    1. This is going to sound horrible but I haven’t read her books before because of the Native American thread to the story lines. I tend to not like the re-telling of Native American stories and there is some of that in this one as well, but not enough for it to have turned me off. Has nothing to do with the content of the stories themselves, I just so often feel that they slow the pace down.

  1. This one has really been getting some good reviews. I actually thought I’d read something by this author but I looked it up, and apparently not. But I was surprised at how many books she HAS written! I might have to see if I can get this one on audio.

    1. Depending on the reader, I think it would be a good one to listen to on audio. I really got into the kid’s head while reading it. It was my first book by her as well.

  2. I have a hate/love relationship with this author. I pinned another one of her books to read in 2013. I will see how that one goes before I read this one, even though your review of it has me wanting to give it a shot!

  3. I’ve been seeing a lot of reviews of her books lately and I’m intrigued. She is one of those authors I’ve always meant to try. I’d love to be entered in the giveaway to make it easier for me to meet this goal. : )

  4. I’ve read one of Erdrich’s short stories and absolutely loved it, so I want to read more of her novels. I like how her books are usually set in the reservation. Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. This book is getting a lot of recognition; she beat out some other big writers for the National Book Award. And so I’m interested to read & check out. And you seemed to like it. I havent read this author but I always wanted to read her well-known book Love Medicine from 1984 but I never did, ugh! Perhaps this one first.

    1. This was my first book of hers so I have nothing to compare it too but the members of my book club have raved about her writing for years so I’m glad I finally read something of hers.

  6. Glad you found the time to read this one. I really enjoy this author and read this one and Shadow Tag in the last few months . Plague of Doves is also a good one.

  7. “every time I opened the book I felt as if I was there too” – I am in awe of authors who can create settings like this that completely suck me in.

    Thanks for being on the tour Ti! I’m featuring your review on TLC’s Facebook page today.

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