This is not my genre, but if Louise Erdrich writes an dystopic end-of-times novel, I’ll read it. While I haven’t read The Hunger Games, or even The Handmaid’s Tale, Future Home of the Living God seems to borrow from those of these themes and images. While I’m not well versed enough in the apocalypse genre to say for sure, I imagine that Erdrich’s work here does not expand the genre in terms of imagining what that world might look like, how it might function.
What I did love about the novel was that it tackled political issues and questions in ways that were artful and beautifully written. Erdrich seems to instantly and effortlessly create characters that are at once unique and familiar. She’s also just a master story teller, although there seemed to be some long scenes and plot points in the last third of the book that didn’t seem to expand the narrative. I trust Erdrich though, and perhaps on a second read, I would recognize the reasoning behind the plot in the last third of the book.
There were some great moments in the last third too though. For example, I loved how some of the characters evolved. I liked some of the surprises. I appreciated the commentary. I liked the way it ended.
Here were a few lines I liked:
The title, obviously. They don’t get much better than that: Future Home of the Living God
“An Announcement That Brought Incongruous Joy” (45).
“So do I love him at last? Child, I need him. It is hard to tell the two apart” (80).
A long section on how men smell (82).
“Where will you be, my darling, the last time it snows on earth?” (267).
Raids on the Unspeakable by Thomas Merton
Kateri Tekakwitha: Mohawk Maiden by Evelyn Brown
and possibly, The reason for crows : a story of Kateri Tekakwitha by Diane Glancy