The Plague of Doves: A Novel
Louise Erdrich's latest spans a century in the small town of Pluto, North Dakota. It begins with a murder and a wrongful lynching, and then follows the descendants of those involved. The Plague of Doves showcases her trademark blend of pathos, comedy, magical realism, and epic narration, and it's a novel I will read again just to admire the skill with which all the pieces of the puzzle gently fall into place. Highly recommended.
Louise Erdrich's complex history of the families in a North Dakota, mixed-blood, reservation town reveals its secrets slowly through the unique voices of the community. These characters require us to pay attention and move from psychological and philosophical musing to delightful storytelling full of magic and intrigue. Thoroughly enjoyable.
A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, The Plague of Doves—the first part of a loose trilogy that includes the National Book Award-winning The Round House and LaRose—is a gripping novel about a long-unsolved crime in a small North Dakota town and how, years later, the consequences are still being felt by the community and a nearby Native American reservation.
Though generations have passed, the town of Pluto continues to be haunted by the murder of a farm family. Evelina Harp—part Ojibwe, part white—is an ambitious young girl whose grandfather, a repository of family and tribal history, harbors knowledge of the violent past. And Judge Antone Bazil Coutts, who bears witness, understands the weight of historical injustice better than anyone. Through the distinct and winning voices of three unforgettable narrators, the collective stories of two interwoven communities ultimately come together to reveal a final wrenching truth.
Bestselling author Louise Erdrich delves into the fraught waters of historical injustice and the impact of secrets kept too long.
Praise for The Plague of Doves: A Novel
“[Erdrich’s] accomplishment in these pages is Tolstoy-like: to render human particularity so meticulously and with such fierce passion as to convey the great, glittering movement of time.” — San Francisco Chronicle
“Wholly felt and exquisitely rendered tales of memory and magic. . . . By novel’s end, and in classic Erdrich fashion, every luminous fragment has been assembled into an intricate tapestry that deeply satisfies the mind, the heart, and the spirit.” — Pam Houston, O, The Oprah Magazine
“Writing in prose that combines the magical sleight of hand of Gabriel García Márquez with the earthy, American rhythms of Faulkner...[Ms. Erdrich] has written what is arguably her most ambitious—and in many ways, her most deeply affecting—work yet.” — New York Times
“An intricate tale of heartbreak and humor . . . [a] wondrous novel. . . . What marks these stories . . . is what has always set Erdrich apart and made her work seem miraculous: the jostling of pathos and comedy. . . .Sit down and listen carefully.” — Washington Post Book World
“The stories told by [Erdrich’s] characters offer pleasures of language, of humor, of sheer narrative momentum, that shine even in the darkest moments of the book.” — Boston Globe
“Erdrich moves seamlessly from grief to sexual ecstasy, from comedy . . . to tragedy, from richly layered observations of nature and human nature to magical realism. She is less storyteller than medium. One has the sense that voices and events pour into her and reemerge with crackling intensity, as keening music trembling between sorrow and joy.” — Los Angeles Times
“Masterfully told . . . one can only marvel, while reading her thirteenth novel, at Erdrich’s amazing ability to do what so few of us can—shape words into phrases and sentences of incomparable beauty that, then, pour forth a mesmerizing story.” — USA Today
“Louise Erdrich’s imaginative freedom has reached its zenith—The Plague of Doves is her dazzling masterpiece.” — Philip Roth
“Mesmerizing. . . Erdrich deploys potent, recurring images. . . to communicate the complexity and the mystery of human relationships. With both impeccable comic timing and a powerful sense of the tragic, Erdrich continues to illuminate, in highly original style, 'the river of our existence.’” — Booklist (starred review)
“Fine and engaging. . . . A marvelous novel. . . . There is a symphonic achievement in Erdrich’s capacity to bring so many disparate stories to life, and to have their thematic echoes overlap in such compelling harmony.” — Claire Messud, New York Review of Books
“To read Louise Erdrich’s thunderous new novel is to leap headlong into the fiery imagination of a master storyteller. By turns chilling, funny, astonishing, wild, wrenching and mournful. . . a rich, colorful mosaic of tales that twist and turn for decades.” — Miami Herald
“Erdrich deftly weaves past and present, and her literary territory is as intricate as Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County.” — MORE Magazine
“The great web that connects Erdrich’s vivid characters is so subtly drawn, and so surprising in its configuration, the novel, like every good story, yields new insights and surprises with each immersion.” — Chicago Tribune
“Erdrich has demonstrated a rare ability to create vibrant, wholly original characters and to describe nature in a prose so lyrical it becomes poetry. ‘The Plague of Doves’ is proof that she has yet to exhaust her powerful magic.” — Hartford Courant
“At once mythic and down-to-earth. . . beautiful, funny, moving, and unexpected.” — Elle
“Instantly gripping.” — Marie Claire
“In scenes of mesmerizing beauty, Erdrich shows how the lives of the victims and the lynch mob entangle decades later. . . . Her powerful conclusion reveals brilliant plotting and makes the effort to get there completely worthwhile.” — People (4 stars)
“A multigenerational tour de force of sin, redemption, murder and vengeance” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A lush, multilayered book. . . . Guilt and redemption pepper these self-sufficient, intertwining stories, and readers who can keep track of the characters will find their efforts rewarded. The magic lies in the details of Erdrich’s ever-replenishing mythology.” — Kirkus Reviews