Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The Round House

The Round House, by Louise Erdrich, was not an easy book to read. I must admit I was left cold for awhile, but as I neared the end of the book I began to understand the underlying messages. The story centers around a rape on a Native American reservation. It’s told by Joe, the son of the woman raped, and tells how it affects her, and his father, and of course, himself. His mother, the secret keeper of the reservation, is directed to the round house where she is raped. She escapes but is never the same. She doesn’t help the authorities for, in doing so, she would release secrets she’s sworn to keep. Her husband tries to help her return to life and also understand the mystery surrounding the rape. Joe has to deal with losing the mother he knew and trying to understand her reaction. Along the way, Joe is introduced to spirituality and at one point suspects the priest of the rape. As the story unravels we slowly learn who had committed the crime and the reasons behind it and behind the secrecy. But it does take time to get there and I think that’s why some folks may not care for this book. In the end, I feel The Round House was a good read but admit it took me awhile to get there. But learning the workings of the reservation and the justice system there was intriguing. I believe the book is definitely worth the time and hope others understand the underlying meanings instead of taking it all at face value.

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