Future Home of the Living God

Future Home of the Living God

A Novel

Book - 2017
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A New York Times Notable Book of 2017

Louise Erdrich, the New York Times bestselling, National Book Award-winning author of LaRose and The Round House, paints a startling portrait of a young woman fighting for her life and her unborn child against oppressive forces that manifest in the wake of a cataclysmic event.

The world as we know it is ending. Evolution has reversed itself, affecting every living creature on earth. Science cannot stop the world from running backwards, as woman after woman gives birth to infants that appear to be primitive species of humans. Twenty-six-year-old Cedar Hawk Songmaker, adopted daughter of a pair of big-hearted, open-minded Minneapolis liberals, is as disturbed and uncertain as the rest of America around her. But for Cedar, this change is profound and deeply personal. She is four months pregnant.

Though she wants to tell the adoptive parents who raised her from infancy, Cedar first feels compelled to find her birth mother, Mary Potts, an Ojibwe living on the reservation, to understand both her and her baby's origins. As Cedar goes back to her own biological beginnings, society around her begins to disintegrate, fueled by a swelling panic about the end of humanity.

There are rumors of martial law, of Congress confining pregnant women. Of a registry, and rewards for those who turn these wanted women in. Flickering through the chaos are signs of increasing repression: a shaken Cedar witnesses a family wrenched apart when police violently drag a mother from her husband and child in a parking lot. The streets of her neighborhood have been renamed with Bible verses. A stranger answers the phone when she calls her adoptive parents, who have vanished without a trace. It will take all Cedar has to avoid the prying eyes of potential informants and keep her baby safe.

A chilling dystopian novel both provocative and prescient, Future Home of the Living God is a startlingly original work from one of our most acclaimed writers: a moving meditation on female agency, self-determination, biology, and natural rights that speaks to the troubling changes of our time.

Publisher: New York : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2017
ISBN: 9780062694058
0062694057
Branch Call Number: ERDRICH
Characteristics: 269 pages ; 24 cm

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k
kazizumi
Sep 01, 2018

I love Erdrich's writing and was eager to read this after reading "Roundhouse" which I thought was a wonderful story. I could not immerse myself in the plot of this book.

n
NFN
Jun 02, 2018

This is a very disappointing book, with lots of underdeveloped themes, boring asides, and unconvincing characters. Better to stick with Atwood's original and far superior version of American dystopia.

j
joycerlove
May 28, 2018

I enjoyed this book until the ending, which left me feeling like I had just wasted 3-4 hours of my life.

k
ksellgren
May 10, 2018

This could easily serve as a prequel to Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”. It shows how our country could become Atwood’s terrifying dystopia.

d
durksenary
May 03, 2018

At some point Erdrich or her editor decided, several decades ago, that the manuscript wasn't ready for publication. They were right at the time and should have left it alone or made an effort to fix the problems. It's almost as if the author was tired of the story or simply didn't know where it was going. It doesn't have to be a tidy or happy ending, but the book should have had an ending that didn't seem as if the writer had simply given up.

Having said that, there were interesting parts, including the underlying idea that evolution was somehow turning on itself or reverse engineering a new form of human being. That would have been an interesting idea to pursue a bit more.

And, I much prefer Erdrich's dystopian vision to Atwood's, Erdrich's writing to Atwood's. This one didn't have the preachy tone of Alias Grace. So, there's that!

b
BWilsoned
Apr 16, 2018

Wow! Erdrich knows how to write them, and this one is awesome. Cedar, part Ojibwe, adopted by crunchy hippies, finds her birth mother at a time when evolution, apparently, has stopped moving forward.
Pregnant women are imprisoned until they give birth so that healthy babies can be farmed out to other people. Of course, native women seem to be the ones able to produce healthy babies, so Cedar is on the run from the get-go.
Not a happy ending, so I was disappointed with that--I'm definitely a Pollyanna.

l
Lotushead
Apr 08, 2018

Louise paints a very frightening future.

ArapahoeAnnaL Apr 01, 2018

A lyrical celebration of and eulogy for maternal love and life as we know it. The book is told in the first person in the form of a letter 26 year old Cedar writes to her developing fetus. Not as well thought out as Erdrich's other books, but still a well written and thought provoking dystopian novel. A New York Times notable book of 2017.

l
LucasHill
Mar 28, 2018

I have read comments by other reviewers that this is too much like other works (The Handmaid's Tale and The Children of Men, to name a couple) to be truly original. Erdrich apparently began writing this decades ago, and now believes that the current political climate makes it more relevant. There is only one thing in particular that I can point to (other than what I mentioned) that figures into characterizing this is a substandard book: pregnant woman are imperiled by a theocratic government, but why? I am fine with this story being a statement on the subjugation of women's bodies by government, but there might of been more satisfying ways of doing that. It is the weakest of her works I've read.

JessicaGma Feb 22, 2018

It was an unsettling book in the sense that you're not really sure what is going on around the characters, which continues on during the plot. You get mere snippets but then events in the world keep escalating, and Cedar doesn't seem to pay a lot of attention at times but this would be anyone in this situation, as events seemed to change day to day. It does bear comparison to A Handmaid's Tale as that would be the sequel, years down the road. Worth reading!

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bluecocoa
Jul 28, 2018

bluecocoa thinks this title is suitable for 19 years and over

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anneholmquist
Dec 04, 2017

Postapocalyptic, women can't get pregnant or have enhanced (mutated) children,. Fertile women are held in prison until birth. Theocracy which keeps only "normal" children, which ar farmed out at birth. Indian woman with normal child in utero tells story to mbryo, then child is taken away.

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