cover image LaRose


Louise Erdrich, read by the author. HarperAudio, unabridged, 12 CDs, 14.5 hrs., $44.99 ISBN 978-0-06-246663-1

Novelist extraordinaire Erdrich proves she is also a gifted voice actor in the audio edition of her latest novel. She reads with a soft but authoritative voice that works so well with her subject matter—the lives of contemporary Ojibwe in North Dakota torn between their modern ideas and sensibilities and the traditions of their ancestors. Erdrich reads fluently, at a conversational pace that easily draws listeners in. As in The Round House, the story explores the quest for justice and the thirst for retribution. Landreaux Iron, an Ojibwe man, accidentally shoots and kills Dusty, the five-year-old son of his best friend, who is not a member of the tribe. In his anguish, Landreaux turns to an Ojibwe tradition that holds that he must give his own son, LaRose, to Dusty’s parents. Erdrich’s reading captures the complex emotions of both sets of mothers and fathers and each of their children; of the lonely, jealous alcoholic who years ago gave his son to the Iron family because he couldn’t raise him; and of the local priest painfully in love with LaRose’s mother. Erdrich’s narration adds depth to this contemporary story intertwined with the long history of the LaRose name and Ojibwe culture. A Harper hardcover. (May)