The Sentence by Louise Erdrich

Louise Erdrich (age 68 as I post) is a much respected author.

In 2021, she was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for her novel The Night Watchman.

She is also the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore in Minneapolis that focuses on Native American literature.

In The Sentence, the narrator, Tookie, works in a bookstore in Minneapolis that carries Native American literature. Tookie, like the author, is a Native American.

As a young woman, Tookie was sentenced to 60 years in prison. But later had her crime reduced to some years time served. That part of the book I found fascinating.

She became a serious reader in prison, one reason she ended up working in a bookstore — haunted by the ghost of a former customer — before the pandemic broke in March 2020.

I’d forgotten how confusing it was mid-March when we had no masks or gel yet. And didn’t know how serious it would become.

The story in Minneapolis following the murder of George Floyd was super interesting too. Her step daughter was out protesting. But Tookie was worried about looters burning down the bookstore.

Overall — however — I found the book too long and rambling.

It’s supposed to be mainly a ghost story. But I didn’t really buy the resolution of that.

This book should have been shorter.

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