From the National Book Award-winning author of LaRose and The Round House, a portrait of a young woman fighting for her life and her unborn child against oppressive forces that manifest in the wake of a cataclysmic event. In a dystopian U.S., Congress has expanded a set of policies that began as the Patriot Act so that pregnant women can be “sequestered in hospitals in order to give birth under controlled circumstances."
...steeped as it is in dystopian darkness, Cedar’s diary is most remarkable for the amiable, heartfelt way in which it captures what’s familiar — in friendships and families, in communities and in nature. It is against this prosaic background, so artful in its seeming artlessness, that the loss anticipated in this novel registers in all its depth and sorrow.
Viscerally, bracingly, we recognize in Cedar’s journal entries (the means by which Erdrich tells her tale) the same miasma of anxiety and unease that Americans now breathe. This is fiction, of course; the details are not from our world. But the sensation is ... Plodding a bit as it traces Cedar’s newly expanded family (Sweetie, a stepfather, an ancient grandmother, a younger sister), the sometimes overloaded narrative is most vivid and suspenseful when it focuses fully on her pregnancy ... Once she is imprisoned, the story turns thrilling — because Cedar and the other captives have no intention of going along willingly, because a nine-month gestation period is a time bomb waiting to go off (one way or another, that baby will come out), and because Erdrich knows that hugely pregnant women are capable of tremendous daring.
Louise Erdrich’s quietly apocalyptic new novel, Future Home of the Living God, isn’t about a plague, exactly. But something sinister is happening to our blue planet ...a feverish and somewhat feeble novel. Erdrich’s heart isn’t really in her dystopian visions, and this novel’s scenes of chases and escapes are hokey and feel derived from films ... To read this novel is to wade through a great many solemnities...funny thing about this not-very-good novel is that there are so many good small things in it ...her sentences can flash with wit and feeling, sunbursts of her imagination ... Signs and portents, auguries and premonitions. Erdrich’s novel is packed with them, push notices from an onrushing nightmare.