The Round House by Louise Erdrich

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-11-2008
The Round House by Louise Erdrich
Mon, 12-24-2012 - 5:19pm

The Round House by Louise Erdrich 321 pages 12/16/12 pub 2012

Joe’s mom Geraldine is violently raped out of spite, mean- spiritedness and jealousy. Her husband, Joe’s dad is a tribal judge on the Ojibwe reservation where they live, and he tries to get her justice from tribal police, local police, state police and then the FBI. Though they live on a reservation, determining where the rape took place is a difficult matter. For one thing, Joes mother has gone silent and stays upstairs in her bedroom. It’s 1988 and Joe and his friends love “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” in its first season. So much so that they fight over who gets to be Worf when they play. Also that chapter titles are the names of ST:TNG episodes.

I really liked this novel, but it was hard reading it when I was first hearing and reading about the mass shooting in Newtown, CT. It's a novel I've thought often since I read it. Louise Erdrich tells us in the Afterward that one third of all Native American women will be raped in their lives. Well, more than that, because one third report that they have been raped. Few Indian women case's against their perpetrators go to court. (Community Library, just won a National Book Award)