Louise Erdrich’s latest novel focuses on the Ravitch and Iron families, linked by a shared tragedy, the accidental shooting of the five-year-old Ravitch son, Dusty, by Landreax Iron, father of five-year-old LaRose. LaRose becomes part of both families, and the book traces their bumpy path toward healing. Erdrich is remarkably skilled at traversing challenging emotional terrain, and this book is honest about the difficulties people face, both in the present and the past, but it’s not lacking in hope. Yet even the hope has a shadow side, which keeps it feeling grounded and real.

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