LaRose by Louise Erdrich
Always so very human. I’m fascinated by the way she takes on the really sad things that happen in life and in Indian lives in particular–and exist with the, in stories with children.
This one has a note of the epic in it, five generations of LaRoses, the current one the only boy, and maybe that sort of thing is what makes Erdrich who she is, and makes it more tied to the native aspect–but ultimately it distracted me from the gripping human drama of the two families, the shared son, the addict injured in childhood saving his friend and bitterly seeking revenge, the suicidal mother. That’s what I wanted to know about.
Also interesting use of a close-historical setting (2000-ish). Around the time of the beginning of the Iraq war, without being about it. Seems to solve the eternal question of how to tell timeless stories in a world changing incredibly fast.