PAST TENSE, PRESENT TENSE, TOO
Yona Zeldis McDonough
The Plague of Doves:
by Louise Erdrich
$25.95 List Price
In 1911, five members—father, mother, two sons, teenage daughter—of a family of six are murdered in their North Dakota home. Only a baby girl, whose crib is hidden from sight, survives the massacre. Four Indians selling handmade willow baskets stumble on the carnage; they are accused of the killings and, in a brutal instance of what their accusers dub “rough justice,” are hung within a day. The youngest is a boy of thirteen named Holy Tracks. It is these murders—by shotgun, by blade, and at the end of a rope—that form the fulcrum of Louise Erdrich’s powerful, if flawed, twelfth novel, The Plague of Doves.
In Erdrich’s modus operandi, narrative is anything but linear. Instead, it forms a serpentine path through time that always leads the reader back to the horrific attack on the Lochren family and to the equally
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