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LaRose (2016)

by Louise Erdrich

Series: Justice Trilogy (3)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,0476114,352 (3.9)125
North Dakota, late summer, 1999. Landreaux Iron stalks a deer along the edge of the property bordering his own. He shoots with easy confidence -- but when the buck springs away, Landreaux realizes he's hit something else, a blur he saw as he squeezed the trigger. When he staggers closer, he realizes he has killed his neighbor's five-year-old son, Dusty Ravich. The youngest child of his friend and neighbor, Peter Ravich, Dusty was best friends with Landreaux's five-year-old son, LaRose. The two families have always been close, sharing food, clothing, and rides into town; their children played together despite going to different schools; and Landreaux's wife, Emmaline, is half sister to Dusty's mother, Nola. Horrified at what he's done, the recovered alcoholic turns to an Ojibwe tribe tradition -- the sweat lodge -- for guidance, and finds a way forward. Following an ancient means of retribution, he and Emmaline will give LaRose to the grieving Peter and Nola. "Our son will be your son now," they tell them. LaRose is quickly absorbed into his new family. Plagued by thoughts of suicide, Nola dotes on him, keeping her darkness at bay. His fierce, rebellious new "sister," Maggie, welcomes him as a co-conspirator who can ease her volatile mother's terrifying moods. Gradually he's allowed shared visits with his birth family, whose sorrow mirrors the Raviches' own. As the years pass, LaRose becomes the linchpin linking the Irons and the Raviches, and eventually their mutual pain begins to heal. But when a vengeful man with a long-standing grudge against Landreaux begins raising trouble, hurling accusations of a cover-up the day Dusty died, he threatens the tenuous peace that has kept these two fragile families whole.… (more)
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English (57)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (60)
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
An incredible premise got this book off to an amazing start, but after the first 20 pages I felt like I had come down from the first hill of a roller coaster and found my car diverted onto a street trolley route with various members of the family and community getting on and off at frequent stops murmuring to me about their domestic drama and lives of quiet desperation. Or at least I think they were murmuring; without quotation marks to signal my simple brain about dialogue, I could have just been reading their minds.

I set the book aside after 70 pages, bogged down in the sadness. I returned after three months and found it to still be a slog as the story noodled around and delved into magical realism. But I found myself growing so fond of the characters despite the difficulty I had finding the energy to turn the next page that I was able to see their journey through end and am happy for it.

Turns out this is the last book in a trilogy linked by locale but featuring different main characters in different times. I may check those first two books out sometime, but I doubt it will be anytime soon. ( )
  villemezbrown | Apr 15, 2021 |
Landreaux Iron is out hunting when he shoots and finds that he has killed his neighbor's 5 year old son, Dusty. Devastated, he lets Peter and Nola Ravich know that he has killed their son and his own son's (LaRose) playmate.
In thinking about his heritage, he talks with his wife, Emmaline, and they decide that LaRose should be given to the Ravich's in payment for the accident. It is hard for both families, but that is done.
LaRose now has two families and seems to fit into both. He really misses his birth mother, but falls in love with the Ravich family also.
There is an individual, Romeo, who has a grudge against Landreaux from many years ago and he is trying to bring him to a quick decline and is searching for any way to make that happen. Romeo is a lost soul; stealing drugs, stealing paperwork, etc.

There is a lot of Indian tradition incorporated into this novel and it is a pleasure to be taken there. This is definitely well-written and I need to warn you to keep tissues handy. ( )
  JReynolds1959 | Jan 25, 2021 |
Not my very favorite of hers, but it's classic Erdrich, which is to say that it's really well done, with some memorable characters, effortless and lyrical writing, interplay between past (with a touch of mysticism) and present, and strong but complicated family ties. ( )
  dllh | Jan 6, 2021 |
**** : Que dire d'une démocratie qui enferme un peuple dans des "réserves", nom habituellement donné aux Parcs nationaux où on rassemble les animaux sauvages ou en voie de disparition. Car c'est bien de cela qu'il s'agit. Ces parcelles de terrain ont été octroyées aux populations indiennes d'Amerique. Décimées par la pauvreté, l'alcool et la drogue elles tentent de survivre en intégrant leur culture à celle de l'Amérique moderne : «sentiment d’être les vestiges en lambeaux d’un peuple à l’histoire compliquée».
  Eliseur | Jan 2, 2021 |
If you like her other books you'll enjoy this one. ( )
  3CatMom | Dec 28, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 57 (next | show all)
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For Persia
and for every LaRose
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Where the reservation boundary invisibly bisected a strand of deep brush—chokecherry, popple, stunted oak—Landreaux waited.
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North Dakota, late summer, 1999. Landreaux Iron stalks a deer along the edge of the property bordering his own. He shoots with easy confidence -- but when the buck springs away, Landreaux realizes he's hit something else, a blur he saw as he squeezed the trigger. When he staggers closer, he realizes he has killed his neighbor's five-year-old son, Dusty Ravich. The youngest child of his friend and neighbor, Peter Ravich, Dusty was best friends with Landreaux's five-year-old son, LaRose. The two families have always been close, sharing food, clothing, and rides into town; their children played together despite going to different schools; and Landreaux's wife, Emmaline, is half sister to Dusty's mother, Nola. Horrified at what he's done, the recovered alcoholic turns to an Ojibwe tribe tradition -- the sweat lodge -- for guidance, and finds a way forward. Following an ancient means of retribution, he and Emmaline will give LaRose to the grieving Peter and Nola. "Our son will be your son now," they tell them. LaRose is quickly absorbed into his new family. Plagued by thoughts of suicide, Nola dotes on him, keeping her darkness at bay. His fierce, rebellious new "sister," Maggie, welcomes him as a co-conspirator who can ease her volatile mother's terrifying moods. Gradually he's allowed shared visits with his birth family, whose sorrow mirrors the Raviches' own. As the years pass, LaRose becomes the linchpin linking the Irons and the Raviches, and eventually their mutual pain begins to heal. But when a vengeful man with a long-standing grudge against Landreaux begins raising trouble, hurling accusations of a cover-up the day Dusty died, he threatens the tenuous peace that has kept these two fragile families whole.

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