The Round House by Louise Erdrich
Five words from the blurb: victim, attack, Native American, legal, justice
I’d been wanting to try Louise Erdrich for a long time and the reviews for The Round House were so good that I was persuaded to buy a copy the moment it was released in the UK. The book follows a Native American woman who is raped on a North Dakotan reservation. It shows how her loving family look after her and try to get justice for the crime. The story shows the investigation and reveals the differences between tribal law and the US legal system.
It was good, solid story telling and it was interesting to learn more about Native Americans, but I occasionally felt that it was contrived and too many legal facts were crammed in. Having things narrated by the thirteen-year-old boy worked really well most of the time, but his innocence gave the book less emotional power than if it had been narrated by the women herself.
Overall this was a great read, but it didn’t quite live up to the enormous hype that preceded it.
The Hive by Gill Hornby
Five words from the blurb: parents, school, betrayal, community, power
The Hive appealed to me the moment I heard about it. The book is set in a small primary school and looks at the dynamics between the mothers who drop their children off there each day. I’ve seen how interesting the interactions between parents can be and so looked forward to trying this one.
Unfortunately The Hive was too light for me. The characters were one-dimensional and gossiped with a bitchiness I found intolerable. If you enjoy fast paced chick lit then you’ll probably love this one, but it didn’t have the depth or insight I was hoping for.
Up High in the Trees by Kiara Brinkman
Five words from the blurb: Asperger’s, extraordinary, boy, family, turmoil
Up High in the Trees is written from the point of view of an 8-year-old boy with autism as he learns to cope with his mother’s death. The book accurately portrayed autism, but something else wasn’t quite right. It lacked that special spark and I failed to be interested in what he was saying. It swung from being boring to being overly sentimental. I only finished it because I have a special interest in books with autistic characters. I think it would be more suited to a younger audience.
Have you read any of these books?
What did you think of them?