The Plague of Doves

The Plague of Doves

Book - 2008
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A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, The Plague of Doves--the first part of a loose trilogy that includes the National Book Award-winning The Round House and LaRose--is a gripping novel about a long-unsolved crime in a small North Dakota town and how, years later, the consequences are still being felt by the community and a nearby Native American reservation.

Though generations have passed, the town of Pluto continues to be haunted by the murder of a farm family. Evelina Harp--part Ojibwe, part white--is an ambitious young girl whose grandfather, a repository of family and tribal history, harbors knowledge of the violent past. And Judge Antone Bazil Coutts, who bears witness, understands the weight of historical injustice better than anyone. Through the distinct and winning voices of three unforgettable narrators, the collective stories of two interwoven communities ultimately come together to reveal a final wrenching truth.

Bestselling author Louise Erdrich delves into the fraught waters of historical injustice and the impact of secrets kept too long.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins Publishers, c2008.
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780060515126
Branch Call Number: ERDRICH
Characteristics: 313 pages ; 24 cm.


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From Library Staff

A patron recommended this author to me. She must be very popular because when I made this list, this was her only book not checked out!

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Sep 21, 2020

Page 1 solo,
discord proceeding stories told.
crescendo in more voices unfold.
What a blow!

Pluto record,
white pioneers afford;
tale and lore,
spread in natives chord.

mystery is a multi-slaughter,
survived, more than a daughter.
humor around Mooshum, romance abound.
Harp's hobby, calling my past time to come around.

Aug 24, 2020

I wasn't sure I would enjoy this book, but as I continued reading, I was caught up in the family story through several generations. Some coped well, and others did not go well. there was even some humor in the story.

Sep 26, 2019

I was rather confused by this story until the very end; some parts of the book made me furious about the injustices towards Native Americans. This story has many characters that go through different timelines and I would be flipping back to see if a character was in a previous chapter. I'm not sure why, but I was never able to get into the book. But I still recommend it as a quick read

Feb 22, 2019

Only one copy available.

It’s about the brutal murder of a white family in the fictional town of Pluto, North Dakota, and the only survivor was a baby girl. Three Ojibwe men are wrongfully convicted and hanged for the crime. The murders and lynchings affect the entire community of white and mixed-blood residents of Pluto for generations. The story is tragic, but the storytelling is in parts comical and poetic. I found the characters very believable, almost alive, so it’s very easy to empathise with them. Although the lynching happened in the past, it’s still a living memory for the characters and shapes their life and how they feel in the present. The writing is so evocative that you feel as if you are there as both the past and present events take place. (submitted by RB)

Jan 14, 2017

This book started so well. It is mainly set on the reservation for Ojibwe natives. I think it started to go a bit off course by the time the author introduced a 3rd narrator. I personally didn't like the 3rd storyteller so maybe it's just my preference that made me go off it. Maybe someone else would enjoy it.

Dec 10, 2016

I hadn't realized that Plague of Doves and The Round House were part of a trilogy of sorts. I am very excited to read LaRose. Erdrich's writing pulls you through every story, no matter how difficult the subject matter.

Aug 02, 2016

The first book in a trilogy, this novel presents the community of Pluto, North Dakota through interconnected stories.

Jun 20, 2016

"The only problem with those old philosophers, I thought as I was walking back through the graves, was that they didn't give enough due to the unbearable weight of human sexual love." If readers thought that this novel jumped around too much or was confusing, maybe they're just bad at reading. Louise Erdrich, author of "Love Medicine," deals in family histories, small town tragedies, and Native Americans' (she's Ojibwa) tense relationship to white culture. It's not that easy book to read, but, then again, what good book is? Philip Roth called it a masterpiece and he's smarter than most of us. Also check out "The Round House."

Nov 24, 2015

Like The Round House, this is a book I'll be thinking about for a long time. Erdrich creates many threads of story, all interconnected by characters and blood, and told by different voices from the past and present. Most of the book takes place in Pluto, ND, on the edge of a reservation, and the people in the story, whether perceived as Native American or White, are all related by action or blood. The prime focus of the story is the slaughter of a family back in the early 1900s, and its impact on characters in the story, especially on the Native Americans blamed for the murders. One family member, a baby, survives, and Erdrich deftly ties up the baby's story, as well as the other stories and questions in the book. Some readers have commented on the large number of narrators and characters, but I found that this offered many perspectives and illuminated the true story as more people told their version. Erdrich also puts many pieces of everyday humor in her writing, which creates fully formed characters and enlivens her characters and her books. I read this one in preparation for the 3rd book in an interconnecting series, which will be published in 2016, called LaRose. This is the 1st book, and The Round House was the 2nd.

But warning--your heart will warm and then break when you read Erdrich's writing. Don't expect a light-hearted book without conflict; if you want that, read a cozy mystery or a romance.

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