The Round House

The Round House

Book - 2012
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When his mother, a tribal enrollment specialist living on a reservation in North Dakota, slips into an abyss of depression after being brutally attacked, 14-year-old Joe Coutz sets out with his three friends to find the person that destroyed his family.
After Geraldine is violently attacked on an Ojibwe reservation, her husband tries to find justice for her, as the family tries to help her heal.. The plot contains profanity and graphic violence, including rape.
Publisher: New York, NY : Harper, 2012
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780062065254
Call Number: F ERDRICH
Characteristics: 321 p. ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in fiction, this novel transports readers to the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota, where a young man seeks justice and understanding for an unspeakable crime that forever changes his family.

Described as a Native American To Kill a Mockingbird, this novel describes the aftermath of a terrible crime on an Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota.

Excelsior Branch Book Club selection for September 2016.

Described as a Native American To Kill a Mockingbird, this novel describes the aftermath of a terrible crime on an Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota.

From the critics

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Feb 10, 2021

Well-written suspense/bildungs-roman from the First Nation's perspective. Interesting and enjoyable.

Jan 09, 2021

I liked this book, except for it's ragged pages, but it was well written. I'm not one much for stories about 13 year old boys but this character sounded older, more like 15. I learned much of Ojibwe tribal culture, rituals, loyal relationships, all set up in a good 'who done it'- I liked that I got a sense of cause and effect. I wonder if he would've become an alcoholic? It could've had a better ending, but it was ok I guess as they drove into the sunset.

LPL_ShirleyB Oct 26, 2020

Among the very best books I've ever read; I laughed and I cried!
I look forward to a conversation with others who read this heartfelt thought-provoking story of Indigenous sovereignty, coming-of-age, family & community, strong Native American women coping after sexual violence, the murdered and the missing women.

Aug 27, 2020

A thought-provoking story about a Native American community. There is still some humor as the young boys/men are so connected to Star Trek-TNG.

Jul 29, 2020

Reader did wonderful job with the many characters ranging in age, education, and attitude, most with North Dakota accents. Marvelous story that takes you to the last sentence. Great insight to reservation life and the legal restraints of tribes to prosecute outsiders when they commit crimes on reservation lands. This story combines so many things: coming of age; Native American culture and story telling; crime; mystery; every day life on the reservation; teenage angst, love and friendship. Excellent novel -- suggest listening to it rather than reading since the narrator does such a phenomenal job with characters body of book.

Jun 25, 2020

I was not disappointed in the ending of this fine book--instead, the last pages swiftly knit the strands and themes together tightly.

Jun 15, 2020

Very intense story, with raw emotions and delicate topics. Was disappointed with the ending though.

Mar 17, 2020

Another incredibly powerful novel by Louise Erdrich. I thought I knew where the story was going but I was pleasantly surprised by the time I finished. Erdrich crafts immensely difficult subject matter into a story which I was compelled to read - I believe this is because of her gift in story-telling. She weaves characters together, whether it is trauma or ordinary coming-of-age situations, with such skill that the reader welcomes each one with open arms and hearts. I absolutely loved this book!

Oct 19, 2019

Great writer. Consistently an author I like to read.

Oct 10, 2019

There was a point in this book when I finished a page and felt like my eyes had been opened. I think my awakening coincided with an expansion of Joe's (main character) awareness of his circumstanses and the history of his people. Previous to this point Erdich describes life on the reservation, a place of limited opportunities compared to the outside world, which is exposed through the media of television and movies. After the point where I awoke the author began speaking in a more poetic manner, connecting age old stories with the current conditions and Joe's understanding of the world. I felt disappointed at the end, not with any fault of the author, but with the reality of the life that Joe was walking into.

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siammarino Oct 22, 2014

Joe lives on an Indian reservation in the 60's with his parents and extended family. When his mother is brutally raped by a white man, Joe's life changes forever. Since his father's authority as a judge does not extend to crimes by whites on the reservation, Joe decides to exact revenge himself. This novel was an eye-opener to the plight of Indians. In the afterward, Erdrich says that 1 in 3 Indian women are raped by whites. I enjoyed learning about Indian history and culture. Much of the dialog was amusing.


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mrsgail5756 Mar 27, 2013

“If the freedom of speech is taken away then dumb and silent we may be led, like sheep to the slaughter.” -George Washington


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