Customer Reviews for

The Plague of Doves

Average Rating 3.5
( 35 )
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(11)

4 Star

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(3)

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(8)

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(6)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

Louise Erdrich is at the top of her game with this terrific tale.

The massacre occurs on a farm near Pluto, North Dakota. Only an infant daughter survives. The white community is outraged and in a fevered pitch, a posse acting more like a mob search for Ojibwe Indians whom they blame for the horrific incident. When the posse finds s...
The massacre occurs on a farm near Pluto, North Dakota. Only an infant daughter survives. The white community is outraged and in a fevered pitch, a posse acting more like a mob search for Ojibwe Indians whom they blame for the horrific incident. When the posse finds several Indians, they hold them responsible without evidence and hang them; one of them Seraph "Mooshum" Milk survives. -------------

Over the next few decades, the families involved in the lynching incident intermingle. Mooshum's granddaughter Evelina Harp is raised on a nearby reservation in the1 960s and 1970s. As a teen she falls for bad-boy Corwin Peace and is friendly with a nun, who unbeknownst to her is descendents of the lynch mob; in fact she is too as part of her family come from that vigilante mob. Evelina attends college and work at a mental asylum Corwin becomes a felon.------------

In some ways this excellent story is a series of vignettes that are told in a non-linear manner; a technique that adds depth to what happened in 1911 and how by the 1970s the descendents of those involved in the two murderous incidents have intertwining lives. The complex story line is made even more complex by the many fully developed and important characters although Evelina as the narrator keeps the plot sort of focused. This is a winner as fans learn through a lot of seemingly irrelevant and apparently unrelated clues the truth of that tragic year once the big picture becomes complete. Louise Erdrich is at the top of her game with this terrific tale.---------

Harriet Klausner

posted by harstan on April 30, 2009

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Most Helpful Critical Review

1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

quirky

I had a hard time reading this book. It does have an original plot with stand out characters but they hardy seemed to be believable. I was reading it for book club and I don't think I would have finished it if I wasn't going to discuss it. I found the book tedious and n...
I had a hard time reading this book. It does have an original plot with stand out characters but they hardy seemed to be believable. I was reading it for book club and I don't think I would have finished it if I wasn't going to discuss it. I found the book tedious and not free flowing and I wasn't alone in my reactions.Some members didn't finish it because they thought it lost direction too. On the positive side, she has presented memorable but "quirky" characters. We read challenging books in our book club but I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.

posted by kitts on November 12, 2009

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  • Posted April 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Louise Erdrich is at the top of her game with this terrific tale.

    The massacre occurs on a farm near Pluto, North Dakota. Only an infant daughter survives. The white community is outraged and in a fevered pitch, a posse acting more like a mob search for Ojibwe Indians whom they blame for the horrific incident. When the posse finds several Indians, they hold them responsible without evidence and hang them; one of them Seraph "Mooshum" Milk survives. -------------

    Over the next few decades, the families involved in the lynching incident intermingle. Mooshum's granddaughter Evelina Harp is raised on a nearby reservation in the1 960s and 1970s. As a teen she falls for bad-boy Corwin Peace and is friendly with a nun, who unbeknownst to her is descendents of the lynch mob; in fact she is too as part of her family come from that vigilante mob. Evelina attends college and work at a mental asylum Corwin becomes a felon.------------

    In some ways this excellent story is a series of vignettes that are told in a non-linear manner; a technique that adds depth to what happened in 1911 and how by the 1970s the descendents of those involved in the two murderous incidents have intertwining lives. The complex story line is made even more complex by the many fully developed and important characters although Evelina as the narrator keeps the plot sort of focused. This is a winner as fans learn through a lot of seemingly irrelevant and apparently unrelated clues the truth of that tragic year once the big picture becomes complete. Louise Erdrich is at the top of her game with this terrific tale.---------

    Harriet Klausner

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 17, 2012

    LOVE LOVE LOVE! hard to follow at first. Essentailly a book of s

    LOVE LOVE LOVE! hard to follow at first. Essentailly a book of short stories but once you find out how they are all connected you will simply just melt. slow start but resounding finish

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2011

    I recommend you read this book you will like it.

    The Plague of Doves By Louise Erdrich The heart of the fictional story is the real 1897 lynching of three First Nation people in North Dakota. The author tells a story of the injustice that the First Nations people in the America¿s received from the white immigrants when the came in contact with each other. I enjoyed meeting each of the characters as the story moves along over the last century revealing how there lives are intertwined. The book is written in an easy to read style and the characters seem as though they could have been someone I know. I say thank you to Louise Erdrich for a good book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 1, 2009

    Another great read from Erdrich with a new set of characters.

    It was wonderful to read another Erdrich book... and to see a whole new host of characters. I can only hope she continues, as she has in the past, to develop these characters in further books. I haunting story that is a reminder to how we got where we are today.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 9, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    A great read

    I loved this book! It's in my top 5 of books read in 2008. A must read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 18, 2011

    Wonderful read full of poignant dignity and utter humanity.

    ¿Those powerful moments of true knowledge that we have to paper over with daily life. The music tapped the back of our terrors, too. Things we¿d lived through and didn¿t want to ever repeat. Shredded imaginings, unadmitted longings, fear and also surprising pleasures. No, we can¿t live at that pitch. But every so often something shatters like ice and we are in the river of our existence. We are aware. And this realization was in the music, somehow, or in the way Shamengwa played it.¿ Thus spake the voice of Louise Erdrich in THE PLAGUE OF DOVES, a novel that is itself like a river: sometimes gentle and calm; at other times deep, dark and dangerous; more often than not, tumbling the reader through complex currents of emotion ranging from outright laughter to despair and ultimately into a lingering melancholy touched by a glimmer of hope. As is usual when I read Erdrich, I stayed up well into the night to finish this book in one sitting. From the tragic opening chapter and the repercussions of the act that shadowed the story right until the pragmatic voice of Doctor Cordelia Lochren finally resolves all the unanswered questions, the subtle threads that bind the characters and their lives together across time and generations and race are woven into a story that, as the ¿strange sweetness¿ of violin music does, shatters our expectations. Beautifully written, both lyrical and mystical, the story Erdrich tells never glosses over the legacies that we both inherit from our ancestors and ourselves plant for our descendants. From the surreal voice of Marn Wolde to the iconoclastic bantering of the Milk brothers, the characters discover that the lives we live are the sum of our past and of our own choices: ¿freedom,¿ says the gifted violinist Shamengwa, ¿is not only in the running but in the heart.¿ And, as Judge Antone Bazil Coutts reflects on his life ¿ from a torrid youthful affair with an older woman to his early work as a grave digger ¿ he realises that ¿only the dead [are] at equilibrium.¿ When one reads THE PLAGUE OF DOVES, there is no equilibrium: one is swept along from page to page and left gasping at the poignant dignity and utter humanity of the characters inhabiting this must-read novel.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 14, 2010

    Beautiful Writing

    I found the writing to be beautiful, but the plot-line to be occasionally confusing. Part of the problem was that I listened to this on tape, which made it difficult at times to keep track of the varying voices and narrators. Being from ND, I especially enjoyed that the book was set in North Dakota.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 12, 2009

    quirky

    I had a hard time reading this book. It does have an original plot with stand out characters but they hardy seemed to be believable. I was reading it for book club and I don't think I would have finished it if I wasn't going to discuss it. I found the book tedious and not free flowing and I wasn't alone in my reactions.Some members didn't finish it because they thought it lost direction too. On the positive side, she has presented memorable but "quirky" characters. We read challenging books in our book club but I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 19, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Master Storyteller Creates a Deep and Entertaining Mystery

    The horrific murder of a farm family in 1911 and the shameful act of vigilantism that followed have affected the lives of nearly everyone in the town of Pluto, North Dakota and the adjoining Ojibwe reservation for decades, yet the murder was never solved.

    Using several narrators, Ms. Erdrich creates such authentic voices that I felt that I was listening to their stories rather than reading them. She is a master storyteller whose characters are unique, engaging and utterly real. They reveal their lives while slowly revealing the details of that terrible day in 1911. They show how deeply those events have become entwined in the history and the psyche of the community.

    Yet they have their own lives, full of passions, ambitions, hatreds, loves and those lives become entwined with the history as well. The lives portrayed are fascinating - some quite funny, some eccentric, some painful. They are all compelling.

    One of the most compelling is the story of the violin and its players. These musicians have such passion and skill that their music can make the listeners feel whatever emotion they need to experience - love, joy, peace and perhaps even justice.

    This is a wonderfully entertaining and yet haunting work that is capable of generating many incisive discussions.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2008

    A reviewer

    I think it sounds good! I'm going to read him when it comes out.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    Excellent read!

    I enjoyed how each history tied the characters together and through a wide array of emotions.

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  • Posted March 18, 2013

    It may be a little of challenge following the style, but it is w

    It may be a little of challenge following the style, but it is worth the investment. It will help to make some simple notes on who is related to who and the timeline of their respective story.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 24, 2009

    Didn't Grab Me in time to enjoy the book

    It was difficult understanding and following the characters; definitely not a page turner.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2009

    I made it through..........

    Not up to her usual standards. Plot was confusing at best. Some interesting characters and an unusual narration but a real drudge for me. Loved visiting her bookstore in Minneapolis/St.Paul. She stopped by and was charming.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Very Disappointing

    Louise has to be one of my all-time favorite writers. I've had the book for quite sometime , but finally got around to reading it. I was very disappointed. I had a heck of a time following the plot. The first few chapters when she was talking about the women dancing with doves flying made sense as well as the tales of abuse etc., but then all of a sudden I had to turn the book over to see if I had mistakenly picked up the wrong book! I kept reading for several more chapters and I still couldn't make sense of it. It seemed that nothing made sense or was even connected to anything else. I know Louise writes exceptionally well and it just didn't measure up to her usual mark of excellence. Well only one of her books that I didn't like I guess isn't too bad. Just hope her next one is up to her usual!!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 3, 2009

    Not a book I would recommend...

    Three quarters through this book I wondered how the author would manage to pull together all the weird characters: an evangelist, a lesbian who interns in a mental hospital and ends up being admitted as a patient, an ancient Native American, etc., etc. In the end I was not satisfied with the forced result. The plot was a bit too obtuse, and none the characters were particularly endearing.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 14, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
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