I got about 1/3 of the way through this book. I thought the writing was excellent and the narration superb. The only problem: the story simply did not hold great interest for me. I found I was forcing myself to continue listening. I finally gave up. This is not to contradict the many people who did find this novel thoroughly enjoyable, engrossing, and worthwhile.
This was not for me and focused far too much on a wicked pleasure of lust. I was unable to appreciate it and did not get into it very far before deciding I had better things to listen to.
Still reeling from the stunning LaRose (listen to that one if you haven't yet), I listened to this book on a friend's recommendation. The story was gripping, and I'll never forget the main character. I don't want to say too much because Erdrich unfurls the plot and develops the characters with just the right pacing and development. Just try it. (Don't read spoiler reviews, please.)
Mysterious, spirit, longing.
Dr Chivago, because it is an epic journey through time through the lens of a culture in upheaval.
Lovely voice. Did not sound like reading. It sounded like she was telling a story.
When your survival depends on the good grace of others, travel well.
I loved listening to the descriptions of the life of Native Americans and the story of Agnes accepting and incorporating the customs and beliefs of the people she grew to love. The narrator was excellent. I'm not one to re-read books, but this is one book I will definitely listen to again!
I don't know how many times I've read and listened to this book. It continues to entertain, surprise, teach, and delight. I'm a huge fan of Erdrich's work in general, and this is my favorite. I'm always sad when it's over, and carry the people who populate its pages with me.
There is no Frigate like a Book To take us Lands away Nor any Coursers like a Page Of prancing Poetry – Emily Dickinson
Although there were moments of pleasure for me while reading this book, overall it was a long slog for me with not enough reward. The story was interesting to a point but too drawn out. There were so many characters that I had trouble keeping them all straight. I really tried. I would read carefully and understand a certain twist of the plot. Then the plot would take off in another direction with another character or set of characters. By the time the plot finally came back to the first character… well, who WAS that character?
And it didn’t help that the author used elements of fantasy throughout. Although I tend to love magical realism when done well, to me it did not work here. All the flights of fancy seemed only to be confusing. At times the book seemed caught between a serious novel and some kind of farce. This seemed true, for example, with the bank robber, “the actor,” in the beginning of the book. The way Erdrich handled the kidnapping of Agnes and the subsequent chases and car scenes seemed more ridiculous then magical or entertaining, enlightening or anything.
Another chapter that used this same “magical” technique was, however, one of my favorites. This was the one about Nanapush and his wife Margaret and how he dies from her cooking. That was great. This story or section showed how Erdrich can be humorous and touching at the same time, which is a great skill. I was laughing and crying at almost the same time here. It is the only time, however, that the magical aspect worked. The chapter was still overdone in it’s farcical nature, but in the end it was a clever vignette within the main plot. There were just too many chapters that were vignettes of various characters and their stories, and overall that drew the whole book out too much.
By the end, I did love Father Damien and all “he” had been through.
Marie Kashpaw. She seems central to the story, but frankly it was a let down at the end when I read about her mother and what had happened to them both. It was hard to figure it all out. Her story had been so far back in the book that I had to do a search for her name and read it all again to try and make sense of it. By this time I didn’t much care, however.
I Love Olive
what an amazing story! there were so many interesting characters, but mostly I was fascinated by Agnes/Father Damien and the almost supernatural twists in her life.
The setting is similar to most of Erdrich's books - her indian reservation. In some ways I think her stories are a little like Alice Hoffman, where they are real, but the magic and unseen powers are there too.
When the bank robber takes Agnes and she is hanging onto the car.
I loved this book. It's an absorbing story told in elegant, textured prose. Some of the images are breathtakingly beautiful. The book's portrayal the main character's faith struck me as both believable and profound. Read this if you're searching for a novel to help you see the world in new ways--or if you're just looking for a really good book. The narrator is fine--even occasionally brilliant.