2013 Reading: The Antelope Wife by Louise Erdrich

Antelope WifeThe Antelope Wife by Louise Erdrich has changed my  mind about this author. A few years ago, I read another of her novels and found it overwritten and boring. But I was recently given a copy of this book on tape, so I decided to give her another try. (Plus, one of my book clubs is reading her National Book Award-winning novel The Round House, so I’ll be diving into that one shortly.)

This book is beautifully written. It’s not without flaws, and the fragmented and convoluted story is a bit hard to follow at times, but the language was worth every minute of the reading.

It’s essentially the story of a couple of commingled families, part Ojibwe, part “white,” part other things, told in many pieces that mostly fit together. There are some real characters in this bunch, including brothers Frank and Klaus, Frank’s rival Richard, Richard’s wife Rosen and their daughter, Cali, Cali’s grandmother, and various uncles, aunts, and cousins. Part of the story is even told from the point of view of a dog, Almost Soup (so named because he was almost soup until he used his puppy wiles to charm a little girl into rescuing him).

I’m looking forward to The Round House.

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