Tag Archives: Native American

Review: There There

There There
By Tommy Orange
Knopf, 9780525520375, June 2018, 304pp.

The Short of It:

The writing in There There is so clear and authentic.

The Rest of It:

There There is one of those buzzy books that everyone is either reading or at least knows about. When it first came out, I immediately added it to my want list but didn’t actually read it until someone chose it for a discussion I was invited to.

The book begins with an essay on the portrayal of  Native Americans over time. Orange then introduces his characters through what appears to be separate stories, unrelated to one another. But as you read on, you slowly realize that all of these characters intersect and ultimately end up at a powwow where a robbery goes terribly wrong.

Each story is utterly compelling. A young woman loses one baby at birth and years later is forced to give up another. A young man, trying to make a future for himself applies for a grant so he can set-up a story booth at a local powwow, Another woman leaves the man who is beating her for a future elsewhere. An infant is born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome is forced to grow up with the effects of the “Drome”, his nickname for it. What they have in common is their Native American heritage.

Powerful and engaging. It’s refreshing to read something that feels new and different. If you haven’t read There There yet, you may want to move it up on your list.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

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Review: Future Home of the Living God

Future Home of the Living God

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.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.