Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich
The last time I was in the library before we shut down, I grabbed a couple of books I thought might be related to my interest in Native American authors. Having read Shadow Tag a while ago, I selected this one of Erdrich’s works because the main character, Cedar, was four months pregnant, and the story was written as a journal for her unborn child. My daughter was four months pregnant at the time and I thought this might make it an interesting read.
I let it sit on my table for a week, while I struggled to deal with the ongoing events surround the COVID-19 pandemic. When I finally picked it up again, I was amazed to find that the book was a dystopian tale depicting another world in chaos. When she is about to go out, Cedar’s mother cautions her to use hand sanitizer because “this could be a new kind of virus” (page 8). People begin hoarding food and supplies, buying extra guns and ammunition to protect themselves, and preparing to work at home. The President orders the borders to be sealed off.
Thankfully, the parallels to today’s world end there, as Cedar goes into hiding to try to keep her pregnancy a secret. She decides to leave the home of the parents who adopted her as an infant, and goes to a reservation in search of her birth mother, all the while hiding from government agents who want to take her baby from her. In the course of her travels, she encounters many memorable individuals along her path to find spiritual and personal fulfillment.
Erdrich has a mastery of character description and development that brings these people to life. Her ability to weave a fascinating tale, where we are deeply investing in finding out what happens, made this a very quick read.
Fortunately, I have another one of her books on loan from the library.