Review: ‘The Round House’


The Round House
By Louise Erdrich

  • Date finished: Nov. 10, 2014
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Year: 2012
  • Project: n/a
  • Reading List: Fall 2014, National Book Award Winners
  • Grade: A
  • Thoughts upon reading:

It’s been about a week since I finished this book, and I feel bad about not writing a review yet, because this book was so very good.

It’s a story that I don’t think I – or a lot of readers – read about quite often. The Round House tells the story of Joe, a 13-year-old living on a Native American reservation sometime in the mid-1980’s. He’s the son of the reservation’s chief judge and leads a relatively normal life until the day his mother is brutally attacked and raped. The incident leaves a painful gash in Joe’s family, while also raising questions about the relationship between the American legal system and Native Americans.

This book won the National Book Award, and it’s understandable why. Erdrich is a lovely writer, and she weaves a compelling tale. At first, I thought this was going to be simply a story about families, and a boy’s relationship with his mother and father. But I was caught up in the mystery surrounding the rape and attack, and I found myself snatching moments of reading whenever I could.

That being said, I wish I could remember more of what I wanted to say about The Round House. Part of it is because it’s been so long since I finished, and since then, I’ve gotten sucked into another book (Matterhorn). Part of it i because even when I reading The Round House, I knew I liked it…and I knew it was really good…I just couldn’t think of why. Or identify anything particularly awesome and ground-breaking. I’m sure it was there. Maybe it was. Maybe it’s just been too long (curses getting sucked into another book!) since I finished.

Oh well. I’ll still give it an A, because I know how good it is, and I still highly recommend it.

One thought on “Review: ‘The Round House’

  1. Pingback: 2014: A Year in Reading | Paperback Fool

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