“In this feverish cautionary tale, Erdrich enters the realm of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale . . . A tornadic, suspenseful, profoundly provoking novel of life’s vulnerability and insistence.”
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
Although this is listed as a Dystopian work, it seemed also a tad Apocalyptic. Globally the world is evolving at alarming rate, instead of millions of years or longer for changes to occur it is happening in real time. The government decides that all pregnant woman need to be rounded up and interred to sort out the ones carrying the fetuses of the new sapiens. This isn’t their only plan, when a Native American discovers that she is pregnant she wants to find her biological parents, the government also wants to find her. At first it seems no one takes the threat seriously, that is until actually women are taken.
The novel reminds me too much of other works..the pregnant women-The Handmaid’s Tale, Mother in place of Big Brother-Brave New World and so it goes. Also the author interjects a good deal of Christianity into the work which doesn’t fit and adds nothing to the story. I thought using the date of December 25 as the due date might lead to something like the second coming but poof…thus it never actually went anywhere and didn’t impress me and left me…feeling conflicted about how I viewed this read. Maybe you will like it but it certainly fell flat for me.
Added 28th March 2020
NO MAJOR SPOILERS
This is the story of Cedar Hawk Songmaker, a Native American young woman who has been adopted by a white couple that live in Minneapolis. Evolution seems to be reversing itself at the beginning of the story, and many of the babies being born are just like the babies at the dawn of man, leading to high death rates for both mother and child.
For some reason the Government has fallen apart, crops are not growing properly and local groups are running things in their particular area.
These groups which seem to be modeled on the religious right are rounding up all pregnant woman, keeping them hostage until they give birth. Cedar will find her birth mother on the reservation and then the story becomes one of hiding Cedar from the authorities. The authors last two novels won a National Book Award (The Roundhouse) and a National Book Critics Circle Award (La Rose) but this book is a very different effort from these works and I must admit I didn’t enjoy this book nearly as much as her last two. But, Ms. Erdrich is still good enough to make her story an interesting read.
Her fans will like it, unless you have grown tired of post apocalyptic novels, of which this book would clearly fall in that category. Still, I have to recommend it.
Added 22nd December 2017