The Future Home of the Living God
By Louise Erdrich
Harper, 9780062694058, November 2017, 288pp.
The Short of It:
This book is the perfect example of why you sometimes need to give a book a little more than fifty pages to work its magic.
The Rest of It:
The story opens with the world going to hell in a handbasket but it’s ever so subtle. Parts of the world are okay but some parts have discovered a problem with how babies are developing in the womb. Although the markets still have food available and many seem to notice little in the way of change, there is an uncomfortable need to grab what you can and go.
Cedar, watching all of this unfold on the news is in a delicate situation. She’s pregnant and she’s beginning to realize that pregnant woman are being taken in for “examination” and it’s during this point in the story that I suddenly realized that some of the babies in question have reverted to their original state of primate. Erdrich never once comes out and says it but in between the lines, you know what’s going on.
The story revolves around Cedar, her birth mother and her adopted mother and how all three of them play a role in her survival. As the government closes in, they are forced to hide in order to protect the baby and in doing so, become part of a larger movement to save these women and their babies.
This was a suspenseful read with some interesting supporting characters. Once the story got going, I had a really hard time putting the book down. I HAD to know how it all turned out and anytime someone steps in to control a woman’s body, you can bet that there’s plenty of content to discuss.
If you’ve read Erdrich before you’ll recognize her style right away but this book will also remind you of The Handmaid’s Tale and Brave New World.
This would make an excellent book club read.
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher.
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14 thoughts on “Review: Future Home of the Living God”
Hm, I’ve read The Roundhouse and struggled with it so had planned to skip this one but you’ve made it sound like it’s worth reading.
Kathy, I struggled with The Roundhouse too but enjoyed this one much better.
I was going to pass on this one, but I may just read. it does sound rather interesting and I’d like to see where she goes with this idea of the babies reverting back. Hmm…does sound like food for thought.
I just looked at some of the other reviews and many call it an incomplete novel. I don’t see it as that at all but it does feel as if it’s a part of a larger story. It doesn’t end in a way that makes you think a sequel is in the works but I suppose it’s possible.
I really enjoyed this one, but my one complaint is that I wanted more of the outside world. I wanted to know why things were devolving and so quickly. While this information is not necessary for the story, it was something that intrigued me and I loved those tiny glimpses into nature gone crazy.
I see your point. I didn’t mind it being so focused though because it made the outside world more mysterious. The little hints given really amped up the tension, if you ask me. I read online that many consider this novel to be incomplete but I didn’t it that way at all.
You have made it sound intriguing…and I usually pass on books like this! But for this one I want to know more…would that page 69 trick work on this one…page 69 is supposed to tell you whether to read the book or not.
I usually use page 50 as my guide and it took longer. maybe 75 pages. I was reading on my Kindle so it was more of a percentage but it translates to about 75.
Did you ever read Hilary Jordan’s When she Woke? I think you’d like it.
I’ve not read it but I just looked it up and it sounds pretty darn good.
I’m glad you liked this one, and I agree that sometimes 50 pages isn’t enough for a reader to fall for a story! I found that true with Naomi Alderman’s novel The Power — which I almost chucked …. till much later when I liked it and was glad I stuck with it.
Good to know. I have The Power on my list as well.
Oh this really WOULD make a good book club read — I think there’d be a lot to discuss in terms of the worldbuilding, but also with all the characters. I could spend a ton of time just on her boyfriend.
Also, fwoo, this had me in my feelings about being a woman living in today’s society. It was one of those books that felt way too real (like Handmaid’s Tale).
I haven’t read any of these books, but I think this might be a good nomination for book club!