When a woman named Faye Travers is called upon to appraise the estate of a family in her small New Hampshire town, she isn't surprised to discover a forgotten cache of valuable Native American artifacts. After all, the family descends from an Indian agent who worked on the North Dakota Ojibwe reservation that is home to her mother's family. However, she stops dead in her tracks when she finds in the collection a rare drum a powerful yet delicate object, made from a massive moose skin stretched across a hollow of cedar, ornamented with symbols she doesn't recognize and dressed in red tassels and a beaded belt and skirt especially since, without touching the instrument, she hears it sound. And so begins an illuminating journey both backward and forward in time, following the strange passage of a powerful yet delicate instrument, and revealing the extraordinary lives it has touched and defined.
Compelling and unforgettable, bestselling author Louise Erdrich's Painted Drum explores the often fraught relationship between mothers and daughters, the strength of family, and the intricate rhythms of grief with all the grace, wit, and startling beauty that characterizes this acclaimed author's finest work.
“A lovely addition . . . to a growing landscape as memorable and enduring as William Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha County.
“Complex and graceful . . . Her most recent work shows Erdrich only becoming better with time.”
-Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Erdrich soars in scenes that are resonant, poetic and exact, visions that will remain imprinted on the reader’s mind.”
-Los Angeles Times Book Review
“A brilliant creation: it possesses the instantly persuasive strangeness of something faithful to life.”
-New York Times Book Review
“This is simply a good book... Neatly etched characters, finely calibrated prose, and flashes of wisdom and wit throughout.”
-Christian Science Monitor
“Haunted and haunting... With fearlessness and humility... [Erdrich] inspires readers to open their hearts.”
-Washington Post Book World
“This is her best book yet.”
“Erdrich at her most accomplished. . . . Startling imagery and remarkable insights into love, foolishness, bravery and betrayal.”
“One of her best novels... Erdrich’s writing has become richer, her voice wiser... She shies away from nothing.”
-Minneapolis Star Tribune
“A top-notch read and one of her finest efforts.”