THE PLAGUE OF DOVES by Louise Erdrich (HarperCollins) Native American literature is like Southwestern decor: in the wrong hands, its all Navajo blankets and animal spirits. But Erdrichs latest novel about an act of anti-Indian violence that haunts a North Dakota town is so natural you forget theres a writer behind it. The title is ostensibly about white birds that arrive one day and threaten to ruin the farmland but it also quietly suggests the Germans who brought greed, booze, and Christianity to the area. Instantly gripping, Doves passes down Native sorrows like a genetic disorder that grows more bearable over time but will never be cured.
THE STORY OF A MARRIAGE by Andrew Sean Greer (Farrar, Straus and Giroux) What would you do if your husbands lover a man appeared at your doorstep and offered you money and real estate in exchange for your spouse? That is the decision Pearlie Cook faces as she questions all she ever knew about her childhood sweetie. We think we know the ones we love is the storys refrain. Tell us about it. While the language gets a little precious in places, the idea of living a lie is never not riveting.