Book Club

Senior Planet Book Club: The Round House

Welcome to our second week’s discussion of…

The Round House by Louise Erdrich

We read chapters 1-4 this week. What did you think? What do you hope to see happen? Start discussing in the comments below!

For week three of our Book Club, let’s read chapters 5-9 by Tuesday, December 15th. 

Join us on Tuesday, December 22nd at 5pm EST for our discussion about the whole book over Zoom.

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6 responses to “Senior Planet Book Club: The Round House

  1. I’m enjoying the book so far. Learning and experiencing the ways of the people who live there. The author makes me feel as if I’m actually on the reservation learning and experiencing the ways of the people who live there. I can’t wait to see what happens next.

  2. I was easily drawn into this story. Louise Erdrich is able to convey the intensity of the lived experience of such a variety of people of different ages, genders, and sensibilities through her descriptions of carefully observed details of the physical settings and their interactions. Her portrayal of the friendships of teenage boys is graphic and touching with humorous moments. Joe is certainly sustained by these connections, and fortunately he also has a clear recognition of adults he can count on when his mother withdraws and he feels his father is becoming distant.
    Some of the same characters are in her earlier book The Plague of Doves, and I want to read that for possible insights into what they were like before the attack and its reverberations in their lives.

  3. While the content pulls at me from each page, I am especially intrigued by the author’s writing style and lack of punctuation marks (except for the period). At first I thought that the lack of quotation marks would be confusing. In some cases, I did need to revisit lines to determine the speaker. Now that I understand the rhythm of the dialogue, I appreciate its uniqueness and style. It also took a chapter or two for me to accept the many new vocabulary words that I could only understand thru syntax.

    This approach works because the story itself is a clear and fast-paced journey thru the lives of an indigenous culture that is unfamiliar to me. It is a bold technique. It uses lots of verbs and, thankfully, limited adverbs and adjectives. It is believable.

  4. The writing perfectly captures the life and thoughts of Joe, a 13 year old boy….his fear of and desire to be a man; the importance of his friendships; his closeness to his mother and father while wanting to be grown up.
    Reading this, I often stopped at a “truth”.
    How women set the “ rhythm of a house” and the family “absorbs their comings and going’s into our bodies, their rhythm into our bones”.
    There is such a balance of anger/ tragedy and humor. If there were only tragedy, the characters would break and the book dissolve. Grandma Thunder and naked Mooshum help us and Joe survive the tragedy until we get some answers.

    1. Loving this book so far! It really feels as seen through the eyes of a teen. The nature of community life within the reservation and how that plays into all Joe’s relationships is so meaningful. The author has let us get to feel inside each of these characters and at this point I am hoping Joe’s honesty and deeply felt sense of purpose as a young teen in a tragic, dangerous and emotional situation stay with him and that no one else is hurt.

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