The Painted Drum
When a woman named Faye Travers is called upon to appraise the estate of a family in her small New Hampshire town, she isn't surprised to discover a forgotten cache of valuable Native American artifacts. After all, the family descends from an Indian agent who worked on the North Dakota Ojibwe reservation that is home to her mother's family. However, she stops dead in her t...more
In The Painted Drum we follow the story through the eyes of different people.
Faye Travers risks her moral rectitude and her career as an Estates agent by stealing an incredible Native American drum. It called to her with a single beat and she was overwhelmed by its mystical po ...more
What I didn't like was the abrupt change in time, location and character. For a simple book one had to be paying attention to not be saying, "who is John?"
I also wish I knew what happened with Morris and Ira, there is an unfinished feel to some of the chara ...more
I know I say this about many of the books I read, but I REALLY liked this book. I liked it so much that I intend to reread it sometime soon, after it has a chance to settle somewhat. Like many of Erdrich's books, this one is about Native Americans, and the voice feels authentic and human. It is divided in four parts. In the first, we meet a mother daughter team who deals with people's estates after they die, or go in a nursing home, etc. We also lea ...more
But I was ultimately disappointed. Once the narration passed from Faye to the Ojibwe on the North Dakota reservation, I ...more
Louise Erdrich's descriptions of nature and animals were breath-taking giving a real sense of being in nature even when tucked up reading in an armchair thousands of miles away from her setting. She also deals sensitively with the Native American lore entr ...more
This book wasn't a character driven book. It was more a book about a people, a place, a culture, and a drum. I enjoyed this book. It was slow to start for me but it eventually pulled me in. It was well written with a lot of descriptions. At first, it felt too flowery for me. However, it did begin to feel a little more poignant as I got deeper into it.
Some of this was laugh out loud funny. But with th ...more
Louise Erdrich is the master of interlocking storylines. I love seeing how her characters weave a web of relationships across time. In this novel, we meet the powerful Fleur Pillager (who features in other works, such as Tracks) as a baby. We also get a sense of how those who leave the reservation are still tied to it, whether or not they understand how.
The story begin ...more
Faye Travers runs a successful estate liquidation business with her mother. She lives in a small New Hampshire town where she knows all the residents. They have history. She has history. And it all comes with a great deal of emotional baggage.The contemporary storyline is related in Faye’s voice, as a series of somewhat disjointed journal entries or internal conversations. Faye’s history contains the tragic childhood death of her sister and her father’s alcohol ...more
While appraising an estate in New Hampshire, Faye Travers finds a moose skin cedar drum on Ojibwe heritage.
Through this drum and who it touched she follows the current and previous owners. We see how the drum changes families, saved lives and brings Faye to terms with her past an ...more
Not really an indoors book.
The audio performance by Anna Fields was award worthy. Truly remarkable performances of voices.
And the book itself is stunning in many ways. Excellent view of grief and its many angles, particularly the loss of children.
Having said that, I wonder if some PhD candidate someplace has built a family tree of sorts, mapping the characters who appear in so many of Louise Erdrich's novels.
Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, w ...more
I found this passage particularly moving:
"Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won't either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And wh ...more
#1) The gorgeous writing. Nobody describes things as precisely as Erdrich, or plays with vocabulary as if she were painting. She creates unique characters and unique settings and gives you things to think about, after you finish the book. The writing is just superb.
#2) I listened to the book, and the actress (Anna Fields) who does the reading makes each character a completely unique voice. I have never listened to an audio recording of a boo ...more