Monday, May 4, 2015

Recently Read: Tracks

Author: Louise Erdrich
Genre: Fiction/ Native American Fiction/ Magical Realism
Publication Date: 1988
Page Count: 226
Rating: 4/5

Tracks by Louise Erdrich was my last required reading for my American Lit class this semester, and while I did enjoy this book, I am so overjoyed to be done with assigned reading. I had never heard of this book or author before stating this book, and my copy of the book gave me zero clues as to the plot or premise of this book so I decided to just go into it blind and I was pretty happy with that decision.

This book is hard to summarize effectively so I just want to give you a few hints as to what it is about. The book has two narrators, Nannapush and Pauline, and they are about as opposite as you can get. They are both telling the same story that revolves around a woman named Fleur and her mysterious abilities. Fleur has drowned twice, but survived each time, and whomever saves her takes her place in death. This book takes place in the early 1900's when the Native Americans were being forced off their land by the American government which makes for a heartbreaking and poignant setting.

This novel has a lot of spiritual/ magical realism elements to it that I really loved. The lines between reality and magic get blurred quite often, but in such a believable way. Erdrich's prose is quite stunning and she captures the style and tone of the oral tradition quite well. Her characters are interesting and complex, especially Pauline and Fleur. Pauline actually inspired the topic for last week's Top Ten Tuesday and she has been haunting me quite a bit since finishing this book. 

This book is something that I never would have picked up on my own, so I'm glad I discovered it through class. I highly recommend checking this one out, it is so different than what I usually read, but in the best way. The writing was flawless and so smooth. I would be interested in picking up Erdrich's other novels sometime in the future.     

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