The Plague of Doves by Louise Edrich

plaqueI picked this out of a hat. I had never read any of Edrich’s stuff before.

Genre: fiction

Blurb:  (goodreads) The unsolved murder of a farm family still haunts the white small town of Pluto, North Dakota, generations after the vengeance exacted and the distortions of fact transformed the lives of Ojibwe living on the nearby reservation.

Part Ojibwe, part white, Evelina Harp is an ambitious young girl prone to falling hopelessly in love. Mooshum, Evelina’s grandfather, is a repository of family and tribal history with an all-too-intimate knowledge of the violent past. And Judge Antone Bazil Coutts, who bears witness, understands the weight of historical injustice better than anyone. Through the distinct and winning voices of three unforgettable narrators, the collective stories of two interwoven communities ultimately come together to reveal a final wrenching truth.

What I liked: The writing is wonderful, poetic, inspiring as a writer, and  just lovely. The story is intriguing… in places. The beginning story of the young girl, Evelina and her interesting grandfather, who like many elders, has a story to tell gets you to want to learn more.

What I didn’t like: Unfortunately Erdrich doesn’t stay with that initial story. She brings it back later, but there are confusing things in between. You find out that these other people and stories ultimately mean something but I think the story would have been wonderful if Louise could have made the transitions between the different people’s stories more understandable, more logical. She does bring the stories together at the end, but the end seems anti-climactic. It left me thinking: what was she trying to get across in this story? I listened to this and the narration switched between Peter Francis James and Kathleen McInerney. They both do a good job, I just prefer one narrator or a group of narrators that play a specific character. I get used to hearing one voice and it is startling for me when the switch happens. Oh well.

Rating: 3.5/5


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