The Plague of Doves

The Plague of Doves

by Louise Erdrich
3.2 38

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The Plague of Doves by Louise Erdrich

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, The Plague of Doves—the first part of a loose trilogy that includes the National Book Award-winning The Round House and LaRose—is a gripping novel about a long-unsolved crime in a small North Dakota town and how, years later, the consequences are still being felt by the community and a nearby Native American reservation.

Though generations have passed, the town of Pluto continues to be haunted by the murder of a farm family. Evelina Harp—part Ojibwe, part white—is an ambitious young girl whose grandfather, a repository of family and tribal history, harbors knowledge of the violent past. And Judge Antone Bazil Coutts, who bears witness, understands the weight of historical injustice better than anyone. Through the distinct and winning voices of three unforgettable narrators, the collective stories of two interwoven communities ultimately come together to reveal a final wrenching truth.

Bestselling author Louise Erdrich delves into the fraught waters of historical injustice and the impact of secrets kept too long.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061736582
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 03/17/2009
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 52,441
Lexile: 960L (what's this?)
File size: 1 MB

About the Author

Louise Erdrich is the author of fifteen novels as well as volumes of poetry, children’s books, short stories, and a memoir of early motherhood. Her novel The Round House won the National Book Award for Fiction. The Plague of Doves won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and her debut novel, Love Medicine, was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Erdrich has received the Library of Congress Prize in American Fiction, the prestigious PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. She lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore.


Minneapolis, Minnesota

Date of Birth:

June 7, 1954

Place of Birth:

Little Falls, Minnesota


B.A., Dartmouth College, 1976; M.A., Johns Hopkins University, 1979

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Plague of Doves 3.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
kiaflwr05 More than 1 year ago
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
am-sandy More than 1 year ago
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.
harstan More than 1 year ago
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
JohnND More than 1 year ago
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.
Randomadder More than 1 year ago
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.
BoundtoRead More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It's in my top 5 of books read in 2008. A must read!
Angela2932ND More than 1 year ago
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.
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I enjoyed how each history tied the characters together and through a wide array of emotions.
StrayCat99 More than 1 year ago
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.
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Judy_Croome More than 1 year ago
¿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.
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