is reading The Round House written by Louise Erdrich for February 20, 2014.
The Round House takes place on a fictitious North Dakota Indian Reservation in the summer of 1988. The story is told through the lens of thirteen year-old Joe Coutts as he seeks justice for his mother, who has been brutally attacked near the sacred round house.
As the details of the crime slowly unfold, his family’s faith is put to the test. His mother knows who her attacker is but not willing to identify him. Her silence and sadness is too much for Joe. He says, “Can’t you eat? You’d feel better. Can’t you get up? Can’t you…come back to life’. “No,” she said immediately. Joe and his father struggle to bring the household back to the way it was before.
Joe with focused and stubborn determination puts the pieces of what happened on that fateful day. He relies on help from his friends: Cappy, Zack and Angus to figure it out. As they get closer to the truth, things become more complicated. The land the crime occurred, technically belongs to the state and is not a part of the reservation. The suspect is white and cannot be prosecuted in the tribal court. A tangle of laws may prevent justice from being served.
It is an unforgettable book of tenderness, violence, sexuality, redemption and healing.