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The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse
by Louise Erdrich
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Liked a lot. Some of the writing was breathtakingly beautiful. The book got a bit long, though. ( )
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Intertwined stories of the unexpected history of the new priest who has arrived at an Ojibwe resevation in northern Minnesota and the families who live there, only tangentially related to the investigation of one of the sisters at the mission for possible sainthood.
Regular readers of Erdrich will see familiar themes emerging here, and recaps or foreshadowings of other incidents to be more fully developed in later works (specifically, 'Four Souls'). There's humor and heartbreak and inevitably puzzlement, misunderstanding, and disappointment when two cultures with exceedingly different worldviews rub up against one another in splendid isolation from either's homeworld.
As Father Damien's long life of service nears its end, the question of whether or not deep secrets ought to be revealed. The reader has been aware of some of them from the get-go, may have figured out others along the way, and will undoubtedly be surprised by some. Erdrich performs a masterful dance here, weaving between past and present, and doing it all with a lyrical understanding of the human heart.
I did not finish it. It was a little too spicy for me.
Father Damien’s big secret! BIG secret! And mostly, this is his story, as it intersects with so many others in the congregation and its surroundings. I wasn't a huge fan of his story, but I did like learning more about the other characters that I've grown so fond of in this series. Especially Nanapush!
The story of Nanapush, his boat, and the moose! “In his moose-drawn boat, Nanapush toured every part of the reservation that he’d ever hunted, and saw everyone he’d ever known, and then went to places he hadn’t visited since childhood.” Hilarious! As was his death/deaths! Definitely my favorite character of the 'Love Medicine' series to date!
Great ending! (and I laughed at the 'fax' in the End Notes as well!)
A New York Times Notable Book For more than a half century, Father Damien Modeste has served his beloved Native American tribe, the Ojibwe, on the remote reservation of Little No Horse. Now, nearing the end of his life, Father Damien dreads the discovery of his physical identity, for he is a woman who has lived as a man. To further complicate his quiet existence, a troubled colleague comes to the reservation to investigate the life of the perplexing, possibly false saint Sister Leopolda. Father Damien alone knows the strange truth of Leopolda's piety, but these facts are bound up in his own secret. He is faced with the most difficult decision: Should he tell all and risk everything . . . or manufacture a protective history for Leopolda, though he believes her wonder-working is motivated solely by evil? In a masterwork that both deepens and enlarges the world of her previous novels set on the same reservation, Louise Erdrich captures the essence of a time and the spirit of a woman who felt compelled by her beliefs to serve her people as a priest. The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse is a work of an avid heart, a writer's writer, and a storytelling genius.
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)813.54Literature English (North America) American fiction 20th Century 1945-1999
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