Monday, July 4, 2011

TRACKS by Louise Erdrich

I made two mistakes in reading this book. First, I read it very quickly, and I think that's why I tended to get the relationships of the characters confused. Second, this book is one of a series, and, although its events occur first, it was written later. Therefore, perhaps the author intended for the reader to be already familiar with the characters. The book has alternating narrators. One is Nanapush, a Chippewa elder, who is telling Lulu her mother's story. Lulu's mother is Fleur, the central character in the book, a beguiling woman whose parents died from a white man's disease. The other narrator is Pauline, half-white, vengeful and somewhat crazy, who becomes a nun bent on self-flagellation, perhaps attempting to assuage guilt from having lured Fleur's lover toward a young, beautiful girl. I was somewhat puzzled that Nanapush seemingly so easily forgives a huge betrayal by his lover, Margaret, and I was amused by Fleur's wily act of trickery at the end.

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