Future Home of the Living God

Future Home of the Living God

Book - 2017
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A tale set in a world of reversing evolution and a growing police state follows pregnant thirty-two-year-old Cedar Hawk Songmaker, who investigates her biological family while awaiting the birth of a child who may emerge as a member of a primitive human species.
Publisher: New York : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 2017.
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062694058
0062694057
Characteristics: 269 pages ; 24 cm.

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janefmooradian Dec 14, 2017

"On the Rez" meets "Handmaid's Tale"? Another great tale from the master storyteller. The ending was a disappointment.


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k
ksellgren
May 10, 2018

This could easily serve as a prequel to Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale”. It shows how our country could become Atwood’s terrifying dystopia.

d
durksenary
May 03, 2018

At some point Erdrich or her editor decided, several decades ago, that the manuscript wasn't ready for publication. They were right at the time and should have left it alone or made an effort to fix the problems. It's almost as if the author was tired of the story or simply didn't know where it was going. It doesn't have to be a tidy or happy ending, but the book should have had an ending that didn't seem as if the writer hadn't simply given up.

Having said that, there were interesting parts, including the underlying idea that evolution was somehow turning on itself or reverse engineering a new form of human being. That would have been an interesting idea to pursue a bit more.

And, I much prefer Erdrich's dystopian vision to Atwood's, Erdrich's writing to Atwood's. This one didn't have the preachy tone of Alias Grace. So, there's that!

b
BWilsoned
Apr 16, 2018

Wow! Erdrich knows how to write them, and this one is awesome. Cedar, part Ojibwe, adopted by crunchy hippies, finds her birth mother at a time when evolution, apparently, has stopped moving forward.
Pregnant women are imprisoned until they give birth so that healthy babies can be farmed out to other people. Of course, native women seem to be the ones able to produce healthy babies, so Cedar is on the run from the get-go.
Not a happy ending, so I was disappointed with that--I'm definitely a Pollyanna.

l
Lotushead
Apr 08, 2018

Louise paints a very frightening future.

AL_ANNAL Apr 01, 2018

A lyrical celebration of and eulogy for maternal love and life as we know it. The book is told in the first person in the form of a letter 26 year old Cedar writes to her developing fetus. Not as well thought out as Erdrich's other books, but still a well written and thought provoking dystopian novel. A New York Times notable book of 2017.

l
LucasHill
Mar 28, 2018

I have read comments by other reviewers that this is too much like other works (The Handmaid's Tale and The Children of Men, to name a couple) to be truly original. Erdrich apparently began writing this decades ago, and now believes that the current political climate makes it more relevant. There is only one thing in particular that I can point to (other than what I mentioned) that figures into characterizing this is a substandard book: pregnant woman are imperiled by a theocratic government, but why? I am fine with this story being a statement on the subjugation of women's bodies by government, but there might of been more satisfying ways of doing that. It is the weakest of her works I've read.

JessicaGma Feb 22, 2018

It was an unsettling book in the sense that you're not really sure what is going on around the characters, which continues on during the plot. You get mere snippets but then events in the world keep escalating, and Cedar doesn't seem to pay a lot of attention at times but this would be anyone in this situation, as events seemed to change day to day. It does bear comparison to A Handmaid's Tale as that would be the sequel, years down the road. Worth reading!

r
rlar31
Feb 10, 2018

Nice work. IN her top 5. Loses it's way several times but for those of us who are huge fans, is a must. Look forward to another soon.

AL_LESLEY Feb 08, 2018

A family drama and a theocratic fertility obsessed dystopia going on at the same time. Shame is that neither aspect of this book is fleshed out. I found it interesting yet a bit lifeless. Maybe the Catholicism was a bit much for me.

d
drsarav
Feb 05, 2018

This was a boring book. The protagonist is completely self centered and lacks breadth (although she imagines that she's very deep, since she is into Catholic esoterica). The nature of the apocalypse is never made clear, only that HER baby is normal. I was hoping there was some salvation for humanity to be found in the protagonist's mixed genetic/social background, but we never get past the mundane family drama and the "What To Expect When You're Expecting" fetal development descriptions. I only finished reading it because I couldn't believe it'd gotten such high reviews, I was sure there'd be some acceleration of the plot. Instead it was a poor hybrid of a family "saga" and a dystopia.

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anneholmquist
Dec 04, 2017

Postapocalyptic, women can't get pregnant or have enhanced (mutated) children,. Fertile women are held in prison until birth. Theocracy which keeps only "normal" children, which ar farmed out at birth. Indian woman with normal child in utero tells story to mbryo, then child is taken away.

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