LaRose, A New Novel by Louise Erdrich, Releasing on May 10th

LaRose: A Novel
By Louise Erdrich

Louise Erdrich has a new novel, LaRose, coming out on May 10th, published by Harper: 

In this literary masterwork, the author of the National Book Award-winning The Round House and the Pulitzer Prize nominee The Plague of Doves wields her breathtaking narrative magic in an emotionally haunting contemporary tale of a tragic accident, a demand for justice, and a profound act of atonement with ancient roots in indigenous culture. Inspiring and affecting, LaRose is a powerful exploration of loss, justice, and the reparation of the human heart. An unforgettable, dazzling tour de force from one of America’s most distinguished writer.

More information of the book from its back cover:

North Dakota, late summer, 1999. Landreaux Iron stalks a deer along the edge of the property bordering his own. He shoots with easy confidence—but when the buck springs away, Landreaux realizes he’s hit something else, a blur he saw as he squeezed the trigger. When he staggers closer, he realizes he has killed his neighbor’s five-year-old son, Dusty Ravich. 

The youngest child of his best friend, Pete Ravich, Dusty was best friends with Landreaux’s five-year-old son, LaRose. The two families have always been close, sharing food, clothing, and rides into town; their children played together despite going to different schools; and Landreaux’s wife, Emmaline, is half-sister to Dusty’s mother, Nola. Horrified at what he’s done, the recovered alcoholic turns to tradition—the sweat lodge—for guidance, and finds a way forward. Following an ancient means of retribution, he and Emmaline will give LaRose to the grieving Peter and Nola. “Our son will be your son now,” they tell them.

LaRose is quickly absorbed into his new family. Plagued by thoughts of suicide, Nola dotes on him, keeping her darkness at bay. His fierce, rebellious new “sister,” Maggie, welcomes him as a coconspirator who can ease her volatile mother’s terrifying moods. Gradually he’s allowed shared visits with his birth family, whose sorrow mirrors the Raviches’ own. As the years pass, LaRose becomes the linchpin linking the Irons and the Raviches, and eventually their mutual pain begins to heal. 

But when a vengeful man with a longstanding grudge against Landreaux begins raising trouble, hurling accusations of a cover-up the day Dusty died, he threatens the tenuous peace that has kept these two fragile families whole. 

Inspiring and affecting, LaRose is a powerful exploration of loss, justice, and the reparation of the human heart, and an unforgettable, dazzling tour de force from one of America’s most distinguished literary masters.

The book sounds amazing, which we can always expect from Erdrich, and seems to follow in the same vein as one of her previous novels, The Round House (reviewed here), as it explores trauma, injustice, and healing. 

Pre-orders are available now through Birchbark Books, Erdrich's bookstore in Minnesota. For those who do pre-order, Erdrich will sign the book and include a copy of a page of the handwritten manuscript of LaRose in each order. Quite a tempting offer from a prolific and respected author. You can also pre-order from IndieBound too. There is a kindle version available for pre-order on Amazon as well.