Judy Croome lives, writes and reads in Johannesburg, South Africa. A novelist & poet, Judy loves cats, exploring the meaning of life, chocolate, rainy days and cats (who already appear to have discovered the meaning of life.) Visit Judy on www.judycroome.com or join her on Twitter @judy_croome
Combining a coming-of-age story with a gruesome crime story, padded with a concentration of the distorted and (at times ridiculous and ridiculously unfair) laws which govern life on the Native American reservations, this was an engaging read which started slow but powered to a poignant finish.
Set in 1988, THE ROUND HOUSE tells the story of a brutal rape and the impact this had on the family, most particularly the 13 year old son of the victim.
Not as dark as Shadow Tag, THE ROUND HOUSE did lack some of the smooth expression of the mysticism of other Erdrich books such as The Painted Drum and The Last Miracle of Little No Horse. The characterisations, especially of young Joe Coutts, his father Bazil, Linda Wishkob and others were vibrant and real, although some of the humour and sexual innuendos were not as sophisticated as in other her books - although, as the point of view was that of a 13 year old, perhaps that was intended!
There were moments of the old Erdrich magic (particularly the last four pages) but overall was mostly a good tale and a shocking denouncement of the indignities of the double standards of American law (one law for the indigenous Native American Indians and another law for white people - the plight of the imprisoned Native American Indian political prisoner Leonard Peltier springs to mind. Even my country's icon, the late Nelson Mandela said #FREE LEONARD PELTIER)