Jessika's Reviews > The Plague of Doves

The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich
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's review
May 28, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: favorites, fiction, native-american, own
Read from January 14 to 17, 2010 — I own a copy , read count: 1

Louise Erdrich has just become one of my new favorite authors. This was an excellent book. Have you ever finished a book and felt like your own words were not enough to convey how great a book was? Because that's how I'm feeling right now. Simply put, Erdrich has a beautiful voice. I found myself pulled into this story just because of her writing style alone. She writes her tale in a non-linear fashion but never lets the reader falter or become confused. Her language was just exquisite. It was honestly hard for me to put this book down--not so much because it was riveting plot-wise (because it really wasn't) but because I felt like I was bathing in her words. She has a way of wording things that makes so much sense but that you would never think of yourself. In one scene, the narrator at the time, Evelina, is describing her parents helping her move into college and what it was like just before they left her:

My father, so thin and athletic, looked almost frail with shock, while my mother, whose beauty was still remarkable and who was known on the reservation for her silence and reserve, had left off her characteristic gravity. Her face, and my father's face, were naked with love. It wasn't something that we talked about--love--and I was terrified of its expression from the lips of my parents. But they allowed me this one clear look at it. Their love blazed from them. And then they left. I think now that everything that was concentrated in that one look--their care in raising me, their patient lessons in every subject they knew to teach, their wincing efforts to give me freedoms, their example of fortitude in work--allowed me to survive myself.

My favorite part of reading books is often the characters. Nothing makes me happier than when I read a book with characters I know I won't soon forget or even just characters who are incredibly well-developed. I definitely found those here. My favorite characters were Evelina and then probably Mooshum. The thing that made this book so great for me was that Erdrich weaved the tales of the people living in Pluto and the nearby reservation with such care that I felt like I was glimpsing parts of a spiderweb as the intricate connections between characters slowly came to light. As I said before, this is not a book with much going on as far as the plot is concerned, but I never felt as though that took away from it. I rather enjoyed hearing these stories, learning the history of the town and its characters, and discovering all of the connections until the final surprise at the end.

If I were asked to say what this book was about, I think that honestly the publisher's blurb is perfect and I couldn't word it any other way. I'd recommend this for those looking for a new author to try or for those who like immersing themselves in the language and the telling of a story.
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Quotes Jessika Liked

Louise Erdrich
“When we are young, the words are scattered all around us. As they are assembled by experience, so also are we, sentence by sentence, until the story takes shape.”
Louise Erdrich, The Plague of Doves

Reading Progress

01/15/2010 page 96
27.27% "I love the feel of this book! Louise Erdrich has an excellent voice."
01/15/2010 page 137
38.92% "This is an excellent book. Louise Erdrich is slowly becoming one of my favorite authors."
01/16/2010 page 195
55.4% "Loving this and hoping to finish this today!"
01/16/2010 page 221
62.78% "I like how the stories of this community are like a spiderweb and I like how all of the connections are slowly coming out."
01/17/2010 page 271
76.99% "Evelina's probably my favorite narrator. Curious to see how this turns out."

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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message 1: by Beth (new) - added it

Beth Jess,
You did a wonderful job articulating that which you thought would be difficult to put into words! I can't wait to read this book, it has been on my "to-read" list for a while.

Jessika Thanks! I tried! I still feel like I didn't get down my exact feelings on it, but your comment makes me feel better :)

Anyway, when you do read it, I would love to hear what you think of it! The only complaints that I've heard at that it's nonlinear and that there are a lot of characters and the connections between them aren't always clear. I think Erdrich does that intentionally though, so my suggestion would be to read carefully and patiently because she reveals all with time.

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