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LaRose by Louise Erdrich

LaRose (2016)

by Louise Erdrich

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LAROSE by Louise Erdrich
I really wanted to like this book but I just couldn’t sustain an interest in these characters or their story. Perhaps it was the jumps from past to present or present to indigenous tale or family to family, I just didn’t care.
The whole premise of giving away a child (and then taking him back - sort of) just didn’t seem believable. Emmaline never really seemed to be a “real” person, just a non-entity. LaRose was too good to be true. Nola was too submerged in grief to be interesting. Maggie was my favorite character and the most believable. I couldn’t understand why anyone would believe anything Romeo said.
I have read other books by Erdrich and liked them. This one was just a disappointment.
3 of 5 stars for good writing, poor story ( )
  beckyhaase | Oct 2, 2017 |
Good book about a family who follows an old Custom of allowing their child to stay with the family of a boy accidentally shot. Very interesting consequences. It's a slow burn almost all the way through but a good read. I'm still partial to Round House but enjoyed this one. ( )
  sydsavvy | Sep 5, 2017 |
There is a hunting accident and a child is killed. Landreaux and his wife Emmaline follow the Native American tradition and take the terrible decision to give away their own son to the bereaved mother and father - Peter and Nola, who live next door but off the reservation.

This is a wonderful story. Far from being depressing, I found it uplifting to read how this profound act affected everyone involved - the four parents, their other children, the Pastor, Landreaux's friend Romeo and Romeo's son, the elders on the reservation.
The beauty of the writing, the honesty (which is sometimes painful) and the theme of traditions and their root in history and path into the future - these were all lovely and rare and precious to read about.

At the end of the story, I was left full of feeling. In particular for Peter and Nola's difficult daughter, Maggie, who becomes Larose's new sister, and for Larose's own two feisty older sisters, Snow and Josette. I loved all their characters.
And of course, LaRose, who is five when the accident happens. Throughout the story, he takes events into his own hands and will become the person on whom they all depend to survive the years of ordeal.
Wonderful writing. Wonderful story. ( )
  AnnGirdharry | Aug 21, 2017 |
I'm a latecomer to the Louise Erdrich fan club. She's masterful at what she does, and LaRose does not disappoint. At the same time, it never gripped me and shook me so hard my teeth rattled, the way [b:The Round House|13602426|The Round House|Louise Erdrich|https://d2arxad8u2l0g7.cloudfront.net/books/1352999408s/13602426.jpg|19195697] did.
  BraveNewBks | Aug 8, 2017 |
Could have been a much better story without what I think is unnecessary drama. In 1999, Landreaux Iron accidentally kills his neighbor and friend's son. In keeping with the Ojibwe tradition, Landreaux gives Pete and his family, the Iron's son, LaRose. The family dynamics are strained; sisters and brothers are supportive at times and at times rebellious. Nola, the dead son's mother, considers suicide while Emmaline Iron resents her husband's decision.

At the same time, a local "friend" of Landreux's, Romeo, is planning revenge against Landreux who accidentally injured him years ago and married Emmaline, whom Romeo was in love with. Romeo is addicted to prescription drugs and steals from the hospital where he is an orderly. Things are complicated, no one is happy including the local ex-Marine priest, Father Travis who is in love with Emmaline.

Sometimes the writing is just to flowery and dramatic for me. There is just enough of what I guess is magical realism to make it just weird in places. ( )
  maryreinert | Jul 19, 2017 |
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Where the reservation boundary invisibly bisected a strand ofdeep brush—chokecherry, popple, stunted oak—Landreaux waited.
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