LaRose: A Novel
- Publish Date: 2017-04-11
- Binding: Paperback
- Author: Louise Erdrich
Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award in Fiction
Finalist for the 2017 PEN Faulkner Award
In this literary masterwork, Louise Erdrich, the bestselling author of the National Book Award-winningÂ The Round HouseÂ and the Pulitzer PrizeÂ nomineeÂ The Plague of DovesÂ wields her breathtaking narrative magic in an emotionally haunting contemporary tale of a tragic accident, a demand for justice, and a profound act of atonement with ancient roots in Native American culture.
North Dakota, late summer, 1999. Landreaux Iron stalks a deer along the edge of the property bordering his own. He shoots with easy confidenceâbut when the buck springs away, Landreaux realizes heâs hit something else, a blur he saw as he squeezed the trigger. When he staggers closer, he realizes he has killed his neighborâs five-year-old son, Dusty Ravich.
The youngest child of his friend and neighbor, Peter Ravich, Dusty was best friends with Landreauxâs 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 Landreauxâs wife, Emmaline, is half sister to Dustyâs mother, Nola. Horrified at what heâs done, the recovered alcoholic turns to an Ojibwe tribe traditionâthe sweat lodgeâfor guidance, and finds a way forward. Following an ancient means of retribution, he and Emmaline will give LaRose to the grieving Peter and Nola. âOur son will be your son now,â 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 âsister,â Maggie, welcomes him as a coconspirator who can ease her volatile motherâs terrifying moods. Gradually heâs allowed shared visits with his birth family, whose sorrow mirrors the Ravichesâ 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.
Inspiring and affecting,Â LaRoseÂ is a powerful exploration of loss, justice, and the reparation of the human heart, and an unforgettable, dazzling tour de force from one of Americaâs most distinguished literary masters.