Synopses & Reviews
Louise Erdrich's mesmerizing new novel, her first in almost three years, centers on a compelling mystery. The unsolved murder of a farm family haunts the small, white, off-reservation town of Pluto, North Dakota. The vengeance exacted for this crime and the subsequent distortions of truth transform the lives of Ojibwe living on the nearby reservation and shape the passions of both communities for the next generation. The descendants of Ojibwe and white intermarry, their lives intertwine; only the youngest generation, of mixed blood, remains unaware of the role the past continues to play in their lives.
Evelina Harp is a witty, ambitious young girl, part Ojibwe, part white, who is prone to falling hopelessly in love. Mooshum, Evelina's grandfather, is a seductive storyteller, a repository of family and tribal history with an all-too-intimate knowledge of the violent past. Nobody understands the weight of historical injustice better than Judge Antone Bazil Coutts, a thoughtful mixed blood who witnesses the lives of those who appear before him, and whose own love life reflects the entire history of the territory. In distinct and winning voices, Erdrich's narrators unravel the stories of different generations and families in this corner of North Dakota. Bound by love, torn by history, the two communities' collective stories finally come together in a wrenching truth revealed in the novel's final pages.
The Plague of Doves is one of the major achievements of Louise Erdrich's considerable oeuvre, a quintessentially American story and the most complex and original of her books.
"The dazzling performance of Kathleen McInerney and Peter Francis James creates the sense of a full-cast audio with voices ranging from childhood to the aged with everything in between. With the rhythms of a charming entertainer, Mooshum, a family patriarch, spins tall tales from the days of magical happenings and sad realities. Billy, half-visionary and half-lunatic, is performed as both spellbinding and dangerous. As Antoine Brazil Coutts, James sounds judicious, fair and hesitant at revealing too much. McInerney covers a range of women: Marm, Billy's wife, has an emotionless voice, like one who has to preserve every drop of energy for pending disasters; and Evalina's light lilt with a faint Native American intonation is perfect. Despite the epic cast, the narrators never leave the listener confused. Passages of fiddle music are a lovely addition. This audio is a model recording of one of America's best novelists. A Harper hardcover (Reviews, Jan. 14). (May)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"A multigenerational tour de force of sin, redemption, murder, and vengeance"--"Publishers Weekly" (starred review). Unabridged. 10 CDs.
About the Author
Louise Erdrich lives with her family in Minnesota and is the owner of Birchbark Books, an independent bookstore. Ms. Erdrich is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, and this story—which will, in the end, span one hundred years in the life of an Ojibwe woman—was inspired when Ms. Erdrich and her mother, Rita Gourneau Erdrich, were researching their own family history. Chickadee
begins a new part of the story that started with The Birchbark House
, a National Book Award finalist; The Game of Silence
, winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction; and the acclaimed The Porcupine Year
Ms. Erdrich is also the bestselling author of many critically acclaimed novels for adults, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves and National Book Award finalist The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse. She is also the author of the picture book Grandmother's Pigeon, illustrated by Jim LaMarche.
Peter Francis James has starred in numerous Broadway and off-Broadway productions, as well as on such television programs as Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, New York Undercover and State of Affairs.