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View all 14 comments. Speculative fiction not unlike Darwin's Radio , but with more mythology. I wished the main character had devoted less energy to miring in quibbles over her parentage.

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I'm not sure why the author choose to narrate, but that's her business. View all 6 comments. Dec 02, Dianne rated it really liked it Shelves: best-of This is a different book for Louise Erdrich and I don't think people for the most part are loving it, but I did! I really enjoy dystopian novels and couple that with Erdrich's writing and, well The story is narrated by Cedar Hawk Songmaker in a journal format.

She is 4 months pregnant and uses the journal as a device to speak to her unborn child. Cedar lives in Minnesota at a time of upheaval and uncertainty; evolution is running backwards a This is a different book for Louise Erdrich and I don't think people for the most part are loving it, but I did! Cedar lives in Minnesota at a time of upheaval and uncertainty; evolution is running backwards at an alarming and kind of unbelievable rate.

In one generation's time, flora and fauna are mutating strangely and women are unable to bear living children, more often than not dying in childbirth. Somewhat predictably, government and religion merge into a theocracy called the Church of the New Constitution.

This entity begins rounding up pregnant women and holding them in converted prisons and asylums, overseeing their gestation in the hopes of harvesting children who are viable and not devolving. I simply could not put the book down. Anxiety kept me gripping the book covers in a stranglehold as I followed Cedar's attempts to keep herself and her child safe.

I loved her relationships with her lover, her adoptive and Ojibwe biological families; her reflections on religion, philosophy and society; and her fighting spirit. I know there are plot similarities to "The Handmaid's Tale," but so what?

This work stands on its own, in my opinion. I agree it is not Erdrich's very best novel, but I found it riveting nonetheless. View all 21 comments. Jan 18, J.

The Cost of Living by Deborah Levy review – a memoir and feminist manifesto

Sutton rated it really liked it. Earlier works, and I'm especially thinking of Tracks, contain a tangible sense of danger to her Native protagonists and their tribes, but mostly these works are in a historical context where that danger is very real. Future Home of the Living God is set in a near future dystopia where evolution has possibly reversed course. The book is narrated by Cedar Hawk Songmaker in the form of letters to her unborn child. In this turbulent period of change which some imagine to be the end of time, she attempts to come to terms with her own identity and find a place for her child.

A subsequent government crackdown on pregnant women and Cedar Hawk's imprisonment had tones of Handmaid's Tale, but I this was its own compelling and intriguing story. View 2 comments. Jan 29, Leslie Ray rated it really liked it. This is a dystopian novel that begs comparisons to "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood in relation to the sudden ability of only a few women to become pregnant. This leads to the government taking control over these women in so far as to "abduct" them into controlled hospital environments where they are held through childbirth and in some cases, beyond.

The book is written as a journal by Cedar, in first person, to her unborn child. Through this journal we are given glimpses of the world an This is a dystopian novel that begs comparisons to "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood in relation to the sudden ability of only a few women to become pregnant. Through this journal we are given glimpses of the world and the on-going changes to climate its getting warmer and no more snow , the disintegration of the government and subsequent takeover by newly formed militant like groups, and regressive changes to plant life and animal behavior.

These were interesting threads in the journal which I would have liked the author to spend some more time on. It must have been gradual, but we see only through Cedar's eyes, where the reader is thrust into this almost abruptly. I would recommend it as I enjoyed it but was left wanting a little more in some areas.

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Oct 02, Whitney Atkinson rated it liked it Shelves: feminism , read-in Still, I think it was interesting and as gripping as I had hoped. The first 80 pages felt very aimless and slow as t 3. The first 80 pages felt very aimless and slow as the main character was on a mission to track down her birth parents, and although they played a role in the book, I still think it was a random place to begin and dragged down the pace.

The middle section, however, was brilliant and exactly what I was expecting from a book about pregnant women on the run from the government. It was tragic and alarming and memorable. And then toward the end, it veered back into territory of getting overly philosophical and less action based, so it began to lose my interest. A lot of terrifying things were happening to and around the main character, yet that terror was never really reflected in the writing style. I liked a lot of the side characters and additional cast, though, so it was interesting to see how she interacted with them.

Also, from the cultural lens of her discovering her biological native family was sweet. The ending of this book is stumping me a bit. Julie Eggers Great review Whitney!! Best wishes xx Nov 18, Simon rated it it was ok. Fascinating right? Yet sadly this book feels a slog. The first 70 pages being spent on the aloof narrator, pregnant obviously, finding her biological parents rather than paying attention to the end of the world and the safety of her child A shame.

I had heard amazing things about Erdrich and saw glimmers but the payoff was almost non existent. Like the future of the human race in this book ironically. Or not. View all 7 comments. Seasonal retelling of the Christian nativity story with a splash of The Handmaid's Tale. It is pacey and fast moving unlike the leisurely LaRose. Although set in Minnesota, rather than North Dakota, it shares an interest in native America with LaRose , but is a mainstream dystopian novel.

The government has been replaced by an alliance of the churches and the military at the same time as an uncanny natural disaster is in progress which is having dire effects on fertility and the chances of the foe Seasonal retelling of the Christian nativity story with a splash of The Handmaid's Tale. The government has been replaced by an alliance of the churches and the military at the same time as an uncanny natural disaster is in progress which is having dire effects on fertility and the chances of the foetus being carried alive to full term.

Will Mary give birth to the future saviour? Can she find her Joseph and make the tricky flight to Egypt, err, Canada? Will the Biblical Herodian government catch her repeatedly? Will saints make helpful interventions? Anxieties about impending motherhood, the future, and contemporary politics, snapped together in a diary form with a garnish of Catholicism and folklore.

View all 4 comments. Oct 17, Phrynne rated it really liked it Shelves: books. I liked so much about this book. I love the way the author writes. I enjoy the theory behind a good dystopian novel. I really felt for Cedar, the main character, and desperately wanted things to go well for her and her baby. My problem was that the author just did not tell me enough!

Even as the story progressed I wanted more. I never really understood who was trustworthy and who was not. And the ending answered none of my questions at all.

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So it must have been a very well written book indeed, be I liked so much about this book. So it must have been a very well written book indeed, because despite all these issues I loved it. View all 3 comments. Jul 13, Donna rated it it was ok Shelves: science-fiction , fiction. Imagine a world somewhere in time in which evolution has reversed itself for some reason in a certain percentage of the human, animal, and creature population in certain places of the world and where the humans being born are somehow different than normal in certain ways.

And imagine society trying to cope with this crisis and with government supporting certain drastic actions to enforce certain policies that go against what would be considered humane. The author has done next to no world building in this book and has seemingly done no research to answer the questions she raises by her fascinating premise that is never fully developed. There are no acknowledgements in the afterword where the author thanks any geneticists or doctors of any kind who helped with her research, making me suspect she did none.

But on a positive note, the premise fascinated me. That and the fact that there was some good writing here in a technical sense with a very suspenseful middle section that I wish had extended beyond that point. There was also a somewhat engaging family drama running throughout the story that made me want to know what would happen next. So if you enjoy good dystopian novels and plan to read this book, you may come away from it dissatisfied despite its interesting premise. Good luck. View all 25 comments. Nov 24, Caroline rated it liked it Shelves: cover-lust , so-much-potential , she-wrote-it , duped-by-the-blurb , uncategorizable , waste-of-trees.

Future Home of the Living God is a disjointed jumble--literary fiction, thriller, suspense, and just a smidgen of dystopian. Part I is literary fiction sprinkled with some dystopian; part II is thriller, suspense, and dystopian; and part III is literary fiction with more sprinkled dystopian.

Erdrich also tossed in some vague poetic, meditative passages now and then, sometimes apropos of nothing. All parts are supposed to connect, but the end result is a forced, unsatisfying mesh. These are two totally incompatible stories--parts I and III as one story and part II as its own--that Erdrich insisted on melding rather than patiently crafting into separate, complete books.

Both stories have glimmers of real substance, but it was in trying to connect the two that Erdrich was constrained. Here I thought the story was finally taking a turn for the better after a plodding and mostly non-dystopian part I, but then part III begins, and Future Home of the Living God once again takes a wrong turn. In a single book Erdrich tried to tackle too many social issues, all within the framework of some dystopian United States that she never came remotely close to fleshing out. This is a three-star read for the thick part II section, which greatly moves the story along.

Parts I and III are uneventful and two-star. Fans of dystopian stories should absolutely steer clear.


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Jan 24, Chris rated it it was amazing. Once more, Louise Erdrich dazzled me. The novel of a world quite literally devolving. And Cedar, the young woman who may or may not be carrying one of the few remaining "original" human babies, is a courageous and inspiring creation. Pair this one with "The Handmaid's Tale" for a wrenching literary double-header. Nov 25, Bam rated it really liked it Shelves: post-apocalyptic , reads , library-book , scifi-fantasy. In this dystopian novel, Cedar Hawk Songmaker is four months pregnant at the end of the world as we know it.

Evolution has come to a screeching halt and is seemingly rapidly reversing. Society is falling apart; food is scarce; nobody knows exactly what is happening. The US government has been replaced by something called the Church of the New Constitution and they are actively rounding up all pregnant women to study them and their fetuses. We learn all this through journal entries that Cedar is In this dystopian novel, Cedar Hawk Songmaker is four months pregnant at the end of the world as we know it. We learn all this through journal entries that Cedar is writing for her baby so that the child will someday know what was happening while Cedar was carrying him.

The story is filled with the love of a mother for her unborn child: her protectiveness and worry, her hopes and dreams for the future. Cedar herself was adopted and raised by a liberal Minneapolis couple, Sera and Glen, who are Buddhists, but as a rebellious young adult, Cedar has turned to Catholicism, studying and writing articles for a magazine she publishes called Zeal. She is particularly interested in Kateri Tekakwitha, the patron saint of the Ojibwa people, the tribe of her birth mother.

When she first learns she's pregnant, she decides to seek out her birth mother, Mary Potts, on the Ojibwa reservation, to learn more about her baby's genetic background. There she also meets her grandmother, sister and step-father, who is writing articles on reasons not to kill oneself. After returning to her own home, her baby's father Phil moves in with her to protect her in the rather hopeless desire to keep her pregnancy hidden.

Once in 'the system,' Cedar is driven to do things she never thought possible to protect her unborn child. To bear this child, I will go through whatever pain I must. This is the Incarnation. The spirit gives flesh meaning. Throughout the story, there is an air of mystery, since we do not know exactly what is going on in the world at large. Most communication has been cut off: no cellphones, no tv news, etc. And there are unanswered questions in Cedar's own life: like who is her birth father?

What has happened to Phil? Cedar is also kept in the dark about the condition of her baby; they will not tell her what the many ultrasounds and tests they perform reveal. But Cedar is convinced she is carrying a boy child with all the symbolism that involves with her religious views. She speculates on whether her child will ever be able to read her journals. Will he have the capacity to learn, to speak? And finally, Erdrich's description of snow is just exquisite. Will our environment warm enough that someday we will no longer be able to experience the cold pleasures of snow?

View all 13 comments. May 08, Taryn Pierson rated it really liked it Shelves: release , poc-author. Because the answer to that supposedly rhetorical question is an emphatic YES. We do need more books like The Handmaid's Tale. Because news flash, whiny white guys, none of the stuff that Margaret Atwood was writing about and rebelling against back in has been fixed. So until that beautiful, blessed day finally arrives, I hope and pray that talented, gorgeous writers like Louise Erdrich will continue to churn out books that make us all confront the reality of the world we live in.

Also, are we really only allowed one heavy-hitting dystopian feminist novel? Is that a one and done situation? I think you guys can spot us one every 32 years. Some key plot points are glossed over in a couple of lines, while multiple pages are spent dwelling on seemingly minor or irrelevant detail.

It leaves a lot of loose ends lying around, which is uncomfortable in a book about so bleak a future. But the last two pages knocked me senseless with their stark beauty. More book recommendations by me at www. Apr 30, Beverly rated it really liked it.


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  • This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. This reminds me of The Handmaid's Tale a bit, because it is set in a dystopian world where pregnant women are on the front lines of a new world; they are hunted and jailed by the government. There are enough differences to make it well worth reading and I devoured it lickety split. Evolution is going backwards and no one knows what the new crop of babies will be like.

    Women, who were pregnant already, before the devolution are highly suspect. What will they give birth to? Cedar doesn't care, she This reminds me of The Handmaid's Tale a bit, because it is set in a dystopian world where pregnant women are on the front lines of a new world; they are hunted and jailed by the government.

    Cedar doesn't care, she just wants her baby. She is also going through some other stuff, she was adopted and wants to find out about her birth parents. Do they have any genetic diseases and why did they give her up? Her birth mother is Native-American, she has a letter from her and goes to find her in the middle of the world crisis.

    This is a book that contemplates mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, the weakness and strength of pregnancy, and government against anti-government forces.

    Nov 15, Maxwell rated it really liked it Shelves: i-own-it , I really enjoyed the blend of speculative and literary fiction in this book! Also haven't read any Erdrich before, but I've been meaning too—and I will definitely pick up more from her. Definitely check this one out if the premise intrigues you.

    And so become yourself because the past is just a good bye. Teach your children well, their father's hell did slowly go by, And feed them on your dreams, the one they pick's the one you'll know by. Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry, So just look at them and sigh and know they love you. Apparently — I mean, nobody knows — our world is running backward. Or forward. Or maybe sideways, in a way as yet ungrasped. The fear of the Lord refers to our viewing Him with the respect He deserves. It means living our lives in light of what we know of Him, holding Him in the highest estimation, and depending on Him with humble trust.

    Only then, Proverbs teaches, will we discover knowledge and wisdom see also In writing the Proverbs, Solomon hoped that his readers would attain practical righteousness in all things and that we would do this by living our lives under the authority and direction of God. Much of the book emphasizes listening to others so that we might learn from them and apply the combined knowledge of those who have gone before us—such as parents and elders—to the unique circumstances of our own lives , 8.

    Wisdom then involves appropriating a measure of humility, first before God and then before others. If instead, we decide to speak rashly rather than listen attentively. Read it! Then live it! Proverbs contains some of the most applicable nuggets of truth in all of the Bible. Most of the proverbs are pithy statements brimming over with imagery from the real world.

    This approach allows us to see very clearly how any particular proverb might be applied to any number of everyday situations we encounter—from getting out of bed in the morning to building a strong foundation in our relationships with others. Allow Proverbs to refocus your attention on all the hidden moments of your life. Or, browse more book summaries. Close Search JamesClear.

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    Menu Skip to content Skip to primary sidebar Skip to footer Print Audiobook The Book in Three Sentences Some things are in your power and some are not—do not confuse the two and do not desire the things that are not in your power. Some things are in our power and some are not. Examples of things not in our power: reputation, power, and the things that are not our own acts. Remember, if you think the things that are in the power of others are in your own power, then you will be hindered, frustrated, and annoyed. If you desire to do great things, then remember that you must give things your full attention — not just a mild effort — and leave many other things alone for the time being.

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    Before setting your sights on a goal make sure that said goal is within your power — that is, that it is something you actually have control over — and if it is not within your power, do not let it concern you. Do not be averted to the things not within your power — illness, death, disease, etc. You are responsible for your own opinions, thoughts, and feelings. Most challenges are an impediment to a particular thing, but not to your will or to you as a person.

    Such is the price of living in tranquility and not allowing every small setback to ruin your life. It is much better to live this way than to try and squeeze every ounce out of each opportunity for you to get more or get what you are owed. If you seem to be a person of importance to some people, ignore them.