This book is really 3 short stories with 2 common threads: a drum and relationships between mothers and their oldest daughters. Never did figure out the "why" of the first story although the drum does make a slightly connection to the other stories. Each daughter desperately seeks a sign of love and acceptance from the mother. There is the cliche of the "drunken Indian" syndrome tossed in to aide in the explanation for many of the events. The book is depressing, discouraging, and sad. It should not be read by anyone who is unstable mentally. It is completely hopeless. I do not plan to read any more books by this author.
Mystical and engrossing this novel tells the story of a drum and the people it eventually heals. First there is Faye whose life is on hold while her orchard goes to ruin until she finds the drum that she decides to steal from an estate she is handling. As she searches for the original owners, the story turns to another chapter of the drum''s sad origin. And only out of desperation, is this magnificent instrument created. Carefully revealing only bits of the story a morsel at a time, Erdrich brings about an original book full of memorable characters to a place where peace resides alongside the painted drum.
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