Usually Ships in 1-5 days Published:
Harper Perennial, 2/2011
I sincerely hope the dissolution of Louise Erdrich's actual marriage was a remote blueprint for the fictional one depicted here: two major narcissists and their "final solution." What makes a break-up tale wrenching is when its tractor beam entraps the whole family, causing a huge cascade of suffering for the hapless bystanders—in this case, three kids: The eldest, Florian, is a physics and math genius; Riel, who constructs a memory chart as a remedy to disappearing into her parents' mental illness. It is Riel who responds to the urge to protect her family by secretly stockpiling supplies for a nuclear-scale disaster. Then there's Stoney, the baby of the family, who communicates with his considerable drawing talent. And finally, the "emotional savant" family dogs who valiantly saddle the role of protectors. Admittedly, not a happy read, but still a solid Erdrich novel reminding us to remember the innocents.