After she discovers that her husband has been reading her diary, Irene America turns it into a manipulative farce, while secretly keeping a second diary that includes her true thoughts about her shaky marriage, its affect on her children, and her struggles with alcohol.
The novel's title comes from the Native American game of "shadow tag," in which two players attempt to stomp on each other's shadow and, it was believed, their soul. This game becomes an apt metaphor for the deeply dysfunctional marriage between Irene America and her husband Gil, both of Native American descent, who engage in a vicious power struggle that plays out on psychological, supernatural, and metaphorical levels--their emotional savagery, physical violence, and alcoholic hate all witnessed at close range by their three children. The concept that the soul can be stolen through an image plays an important role in this chilling and lyric Gothic tale: Gil is a successful painter who has made his reputation with a series of highly revealing portraits of Irene, while Irene is working on a dissertation about an Native American painter whose subjects died after being painted. Set against the frozen backdrop of a Minnesota winter, Louise Erdrich (THE PLAGUE OF DOVES) has crafted a disturbing tale of domestic war whose duplicitous main characters are as mesmerizing as they are unsympathetic. Selected by the New York Times Book Review as a Notable Book of 2010.
- Juvenile Fiction, Fiction + Literature Themes, Fiction + Literature Genres
- Peoples + Cultures, Literary Genres + Types of Novels, Human Qualities + Behavior, Family + Friendship, General, Arts + Entertainment, Love + Relationships + Sex, Social Issues / Drugs + Alcohol + Substance Abuse, Types of Characters, Society + Social Issues
- Large Print
- February 2, 2010
- February 2, 2010
- Louise Erdrich