Thursday, August 16, 2012

Louise Erdrich's CHICKADEE

With immense satisfaction and a deep sigh, I read the last words in Louise Erdrich's Chickadee and then gazed at the cover. Chickadee is the fourth book in her Birchbark House series, launched in 1999.

My copy arrived yesterday afternoon and I immediately began reading--but not racing--through Chickadee, because it is written with such beauty, power, and elegance that I knew I'd reach the end and wish I could go on, reading about Omakayas and her eight-year-old twin boys, Chickadee and Makoons.

There was delight as Erdrich reintroduced Omakayas and Old Tallow, and when she introduced a man in a black robe, I felt a knot in my belly as I wondered how Erdrich would tell her young readers about missionaries.

The sadness I felt reading about smallpox in Birchbark House gripped me, too, as did the anger at those who called us savage and pagan.

Resilience, though, and the strength of family and community is woven throughout Chickadee.  I'll provide a more in-depth analysis later. For now, I want to bask in the words and stories that Louise Erdrich gives to us Chickadee and throughout the Birchbark House series.

You can order a signed copy of Chickadee from Birchbark Books. And if you don't have the first three books in the series, order them, too.

1 comment:

Beverly Slapin said...

Reading one of Louise's books--especially this series--is an occasion to celebrate, a time to stop, and sit down, and savor every turn of phrase. I look forward to receiving this one from Birchbark Books. Thank you, Louise, you are a gift.