I’ve been struggling with how to describe this novel, other than it’s often pensive and irregularly balanced for a “dystopian” story. Finally, I came to the conclusion (after 3 pages of notes) that it needs to be read because of the struggle it shows and invokes in us. That may not be very helpful, but as stubborn and intellectual Cedar says at the start, “...maybe you’ll understand. Or not. I’ll write this anyway…” I mean...what do you record for a possible life in a world unknown to you?— From Katelynn
“Powerful, prophetic, and absolutely pertinent to our times, Louise Erdrich's new novel, Future Home of the Living God, is a horrifying, haunting story about the lengths the government will go to control women's reproductive rights and ensure the success of mankind as we know it. Riveting, repulsive, and revealing at the same time, Erdrich captures the essence of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and spins a new twist sure to tantalize and terrorize readers' thoughts and play on their fears. Once again, Erdrich challenges societal constraints and conceives a novel guaranteed to leave you guessing. I highly recommend it!”
— Kristin Bates, McLean & Eakin Booksellers, Petoskey, MI
“The Margaret Atwood parallels in this novel are unavoidable; however, Future Home of the Living God certainly holds its own. As bleak as the subject matter is, Erdrich also investigates hope, belief, and what it means to be human in a world where humans may no longer be recognizable as such. Erdrich handles the speculative elements beautifully and with a light touch, as the ultimate story is one of motherhood, identity, community, and finding meaning in a world of rapid change.”
— Kaisha Khalifeh, The Open Book, Bend, OR
A New York Times Notable Book of 2017
Louise Erdrich, the New York Times bestselling, National Book Award-winning author of LaRose and The Round House, paints a startling 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.
The world as we know it is ending. Evolution has reversed itself, affecting every living creature on earth. Science cannot stop the world from running backwards, as woman after woman gives birth to infants that appear to be primitive species of humans. Twenty-six-year-old Cedar Hawk Songmaker, adopted daughter of a pair of big-hearted, open-minded Minneapolis liberals, is as disturbed and uncertain as the rest of America around her. But for Cedar, this change is profound and deeply personal. She is four months pregnant.
Though she wants to tell the adoptive parents who raised her from infancy, Cedar first feels compelled to find her birth mother, Mary Potts, an Ojibwe living on the reservation, to understand both her and her baby’s origins. As Cedar goes back to her own biological beginnings, society around her begins to disintegrate, fueled by a swelling panic about the end of humanity.
There are rumors of martial law, of Congress confining pregnant women. Of a registry, and rewards for those who turn these wanted women in. Flickering through the chaos are signs of increasing repression: a shaken Cedar witnesses a family wrenched apart when police violently drag a mother from her husband and child in a parking lot. The streets of her neighborhood have been renamed with Bible verses. A stranger answers the phone when she calls her adoptive parents, who have vanished without a trace. It will take all Cedar has to avoid the prying eyes of potential informants and keep her baby safe.
A chilling dystopian novel both provocative and prescient, Future Home of the Living God is a startlingly original work from one of our most acclaimed writers: a moving meditation on female agency, self-determination, biology, and natural rights that speaks to the troubling changes of our time.
Louise Erdrich is the author of fifteen novels as well as volumes of poetry, children’s books, short stories, and a memoir of early motherhood. Her novel The Round House won the National Book Award for Fiction. The Plague of Doves won the Anisfield-Wolf Book Award and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, and her debut novel, Love Medicine, was the winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award. Erdrich has received the Library of Congress Prize in American Fiction, the prestigious PEN/Saul Bellow Award for Achievement in American Fiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize. She lives in Minnesota with her daughters and is the owner of Birchbark Books, a small independent bookstore.