Father Damien alone knows the strange truth of Sister Leopolda's piety and is faced with the most difficult decision of his life: Should he reveal all he knows and risk everything? Or should he manufacture a protective history though he believes Leopolda's wonder-working is motivated by evil?
©2001 Louise Erdrich; (P)2001 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.
"Erdrich's prose is beautiful and the tale fascinating and enjoyable." (AudioFile)
"Erdrich renders her North Dakota world of the Ojibwe with a lyrical and richly metaphorical prose style....Fields has a pleasing voice, a fine feel for the material and the characters and a knack for low-key dramatization." (Publishers Weekly)
"This is Erdrich writing at the peak of her powers, embracing both the earthy sensuality and abiding spirituality of her characters and energizing the whole with a raucous humor that is at once self-deprecating and life-enhancing." (Booklist)
This is a remarkable book that provides new challenges with every twist of the story. What would motivate a person to make the decisions that Agnes/Modeste makes? Where does the "real" story end and fantasy begin? This book has the fantastical feeling of "Life in the Time of Cholera" and yet it is very solidly rooted in the realities of Native American life on a reservation. Who are all the people and how are they all related? It is a challenge in some ways to listen rather than read this book because there are so many rich characters. Once again, I would recommend that Audible provide a written list of characters for those who purchase this audiobook.
All of these challenges add up to a compelling read, a bit discouraging at times because it is not always clear where the story is going with all its diversions, but ultimately the story and all the characters are solidly wrapped up tight. I highly recommend it for the fine writing and incredible characters the author has created; it is one of the most inventive and least predictable books I have read in a long time.
I also have very high praise for the narrator. Having listened to other books she has read, I doubt very much that Anna Fields is an Ojibwe Indian, but she portrays one without a flaw. As well as dozens of other characters with authenticity and clarity. I felt like applauding when she ended.
Erdrich is one of the most captivating novelists writing today and this may be her finest work. Love, faith, passion, what it means to be human outside of gender identities and cultural barriers - she weaves these themes through an engaging dramatic storyline that will leave you thinking about it long after the story is over. Get this book.
Here is are several tales, wound together by the characters themselves. The book is almost an epic but more intimate. It is a rare thing to find a book with such broad scope and emotional precision.
I can't say enough good things. Get this book.
It's a pretty good read. Great Indian perspective and a fun example of Catholicism at it's best! Take the time to read this. I think you'll enjoy it.
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.
THis novel reminded me strongly of "100 Years of Solitude" while still standing on its own. The narrative is layered, and takes place at the intersection of genders, cultures, and religions. Deeply spiritual and yet agnostic. A beautiful book, beautifully read.
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.
For anyone who enjoys reading a well written book by an author who knows how to turn a phrase to capture a scene, this book is for you. I laughed and cried but I was NEVER bored. This is not a quick read or light hearted fare, but it is certainly satisfying for those who tire of Oprah style books
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