The Plague of Doves
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 reposito...more
It really doesn't matter why he killed them. In fact, the novel would be just as complete if it never specifically said…more This question is a spoiler! :(
It really doesn't matter why he killed them. In fact, the novel would be just as complete if it never specifically said that he killed them. It's really not about the killer or about finding out the "answer" to the mystery. It's about everything that happened surrounding the murder. It was a catalyst that served to intertwine the lives of essentially everyone in the community.
To answer your question: He was mentally disturbed. Sick. Psycho. Just like in "real life," killers don't always have a reason. Why do crazy people go into schools and shoot children and teachers? There's never a "good" or "satisfactory" answer. Sometimes murders have a clear motive, but in this case, we're seeing a very true to life picture of the absolutely senseless violence that just happens because there's evil in the world, and in this case, the equally senseless violence that results from it. It also serves an ironic purpose. Although the Native Americans were stereotyped as "savage" they're really the most "civilized" in this book. The savage, senseless murder was enacted by a white man.(less) (hide spoiler)]
Multiple narrators, multiple generations, much overlap between Native Americans and European ...more
this novel goes back and forth in time and space, focusing on a host of characters of mixed indian-white ethn ...more
This has to be one of the more disjointed books Erdrich ha ...more
This was a pleasant and downright surprising acquaintance with an author who until now was completely unknown to me. Louise Erdrich apparently already has written a whole oeuvre, but this book was her real, albeit late, breakthrough (2008). The relationship with Faulkner is immediately noticeable: just like the Nobel Laureate, all her books are set in a very limited geographical area in the United States; in her case in North Dakota, with its many Indian (I th ...more
The weaving of characters' stories is interesting, but not on par with the "Painted Drum" or what her former husband Michael Dorris did in "Yellow Raft on Blue Waters." The plot has so much potential and the writing is so compelling that it was disappointing that it di ...more
We never really can escape our own histories. And our histories are darker than we realize.
These two truths frequently inform the complex plots and genealogies of Louise Erdrich’s fiction.
In many of her earlier writings she has taken whole series of books to puzzle these interlocking plots and genealogies. She reveals hidden identities. And follows bloodlines of power through families. And she shocks and haunts us with secreted knowledge that becomes, at least, partiall ...more
This is my third book by this author. I am still looking forward to reading more.
That said, Erdrich is brilliant in the small moment, the tiny detai ...more
[This book was a Pulitzer Prize finalist (Fiction, 2009)]
[I read this book in Jan/Feb 2009. I added shelves on 4/1/11.]
For my comments about this book, please see the following discussion thread:
Below is the my first post at the link above:
Last night, our town library book group discussed _The Plague of Doves A Novel_ by Louise Erdrich.
Both the book and the author ar ...more
We shift. To the childhood of Evelina Harp, a mixed blood growing up in the early 60’s and trying to navigate her tangled family and community history. To Bazil Antoine Coutts, a tribal judge straddling the line between law and tradit ...more
“Louise Erdrich's … novel … centers on a compelling mystery. The unsolved murder of a farm family haunts the small, white, off-reservation town of Pluto, North Dakota. The vengeance exacted for this crime and the subseque...more
If I'm to be honest about the work of Louise Erdrich, I must admit that I don't much care for her characters, her locales, her plots, or the meandering manner in which she chooses to negotiate her narrative. However, should you attempt to wrest one of these novels from my grasp be forewarned, you will have a bit of a fight on your hands.
Because what Ms. Erdrich excels at, what she brings so adeptly to the page, where her skills align like so many tumblers to the sophisticated lock of storytellin ...more
This is one of the rare occasions where I enjoyed the journey without much concern over where the novel was heading. The characters, dialogue, and ambiance, along with skilled writing, made reading more of a pleasant book cuddle which I looked forward to each evening. That said, the surprise final wrap up which drew together all the strings was a cherry on the Sunday. This review sounds like literary comfort food, and perhaps it is. Multiple narrators voice their experiences within an Indian res ...more
Also the jacket blurb leads the reader into thinking there is a mystery to be solved. There is but it seems like a minor part of the plot, but a big part ...more
Plague of Doves is a tangled ball of yarn. It is comprised of seemingly unrelated stories from the history of several families. Many characters, across several generati ...more