We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.

A mother is brutally raped by a man on their North Dakota reservation where she lives with her husband and thirteen-year-old son, Joe. Traumatized and afraid, she takes to her bed and refuses to talk to anyone – including the police.

While her husband, a tribal judge, endeavours to wrest justice from a situation that defies his keenest efforts, young Joe’s world shifts on its child’s axis. Confused, and nursing a complicated fury, Joe sets out to find answers that might put his mother’s attacker behind bars – and make everything right again. Or so he hopes.

The Round House is a poignant and abundantly humane story of a young boy pitched prematurely into an unjust adult world. It is a story of vivid survival; and tt confirms Louise Erdrich as one of America’s most distinctive contemporary novelists.

Reviews

A compelling coming-of-age story ... [Erdrich] is a gifted storyteller who brings all these characters and tales together with sureness and grace.
Indpendent
Emotionally compelling...Joe is an incredibly endearing narrator, full of urgency and radiant candor...the story he tells transforms a sad, isolated crime into a revelation about how maturity alters our relationship with our parents, delivering us into new kinds of love and pain.
Washington Post
Erdrich threads a gripping mystery and multilayered portrait of a community through a deeply affecting coming-of-age novel.
O, the Oprah Magazine
Brilliant.
Saga
A rare insight into the dilemma of an adolescent caught between two cultures.
Mail on Sunday
Steeped in American folklore, rituals and tradition, Erdrich’s rite-of-passage masterpiece is raw and compelling.
Good Book Guide
Erdrich has achieved an impressive trick; a spellbinding read, an earnest message and fierce emotional punch.
Sunday Telegraph
The Round House is an extraordinary, engrossing novel, which should live long in the memory.
The Independent on Sunday
Echoes of Stand By Me ... a classic coming-of-age narrative.
The Observer
Detailed and nuanced, it is Erdrich's portrayal of the Native American reservation that makes The Round House stand out as a work of literary fiction.
Sunday Express
A gripping mystery with a moral twist: revenge might be the harshest punishment, but only for the victims.
Entertainment Weekly
The Round House showcases [Erdrich's] extraordinary ability to delineate the ties of love, resentment, need, duty and sympathy that bind families together...[a] powerful novel.
New York Times
Erdrich is brilliant at using dialogue to capture the teenage psyche....The parallels with To Kill a Mockingbird are obvious, but it is the soundtrack to Rob Reiner's classic coming-of-age film Stand by Me that spooled through my mind as I followed Joe and his mates through their long, hot, life-changing summer.
The Economist
A powerful novel worth reading.
The Scotsman
The Round House is filled with stunning language that recalls shades of Faulkner, Garcia Marquez and Toni Morrison. Deeply moving, this novel ranks among Erdrich's best work, and it is impossible to forget.
USA Today