The Round House by Louise Erdrich
This was one of the few books that I read in November, as this was my November book club pick with some of my girlfriends. We try to theme our picks and for November, our theme was Native American literature, as we wanted to take back the narrative of what Thanksgiving really is about – and highlight the literature of the First People’s. So this was how we picked this book for the month!
This book is set in the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota, where we follow the story of a young boy’s mother who was raped and the aftermath of the horrific incident. The story is told through the eyes of the young boy as the family and the community attempt to decipher what happened and maneuver between federal law and Indian law.
This is a beautifully important story and I think still a big issue today. The reason why I gave it the three stars that I did was that I did have a hard time following the story as it was told through the eyes of the 13-year old boy. At about the halfway mark of the book, the flow of the story was a lot smoother and it was easier to follow his perspective. The content matter is also quite heavy and difficult, and I typically read these stories much slower. The relationship of the family was my favorite part of the story and how this tragic event not only brought the family closer together, but it also showed how they honored the mothers and women in their tribe. The story definitely makes you feel a lot, as I felt waves of sadness, anger, happiness and grief. I am glad that I had the opportunity to be exposed to this story and this definitely encouraged me to continue to intake stories from communities that I don’t typically read from, as it’s so important to share these stories.