finished reading

This is one of those books that has me scratching my head--what did I just read?  There is so much going on that I am not sure I can capture all the nuances of the storylines.  There are moments of dark humor--like the bumbling crime that sends the narrator to federal prison, opening the action.  But there are some challenging events--the pandemic and George Floyd's death and the subsequent rioting.  And there are so many books!  And the role of bookstores during the pandemic.  It's a ghost story that delves into the fantastical realm (I admit I struggled with that).

I keep coming back to the title and how it applies to Tookie, the narrator, and the events of the book.  It's a complex story that while taking place during a calendar year, doesn't seem quite linear.  The style of storytelling is not straightforward narrative.  It's like having a conversation with a friend that sometimes goes off in different directions then comes back around.

This is going to be a great book club discussion.  It is a beautifully rich book.  

From the publisher:
In this stunning and timely novel, Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning author Louise Erdrich creates a wickedly funny ghost story, a tale of passion, of a complex marriage, and of a woman's relentless errors.

Louise Erdrich's latest novel, The Sentence, asks what we owe to the living, the dead, to the reader and to the book. A small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the store's most annoying customer. Flora dies on All Souls' Day, but she simply won't leave the store. Tookie, who has landed a job selling books after years of incarceration that she survived by reading with murderous attention, must solve the mystery of this haunting while at the same time trying to understand all that occurs in Minneapolis during a year of grief, astonishment, isolation, and furious reckoning.

The Sentence begins on All Souls' Day 2019 and ends on All Souls' Day 2020. Its mystery and proliferating ghost stories during this one year propel a narrative as rich, emotional, and profound as anything Louise Erdrich has written.

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