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Future home of the living god : a novel
2017
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Fiction/Biography Profile
Characters
Cedar Hawk Songmaker (Female), Adopted, Pregnant, Daughter of open-minded Minneapolis liberals; disturbed and uncertain about the changes; she is four months pregnant; searches for birth mother
Genre
Fiction
Dystopia
Political
Science fiction
Topics
End Times
Evolution
Search for biological parents
Ojibwa Indians
Women in peril
Setting
- United States
Time Period
--
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Trade Reviews

  Library Journal Review

Twenty-six-year-old, four-months-pregnant Cedar Hawk Songmaker was adopted by Minneapolis liberals but has recently reconnected with her extended Ojibwe birth family. Reunion notwithstanding, the world is in dystopic collapse-evolution is in rapid reverse, the Church of the New Constitution has usurped control, the human race is imploding-and Cedar's determined to record the tumult for her unborn child. Her fertile womb makes her a target, as pregnant women are hunted and imprisoned; protecting her baby becomes a desperate race against time. Begun in 2001 (according to the acknowledgments) and completed in spring 2017 (revealed in the introduction), the interrupted incubation might explain the unfinished characterizations and disjointed story lines; only -Erdrich's richly nuanced reading improves the uneven narrative. VERDICT The rediscovered popularity of womb dystopia will surely fuel interest in Erdrich's Future; libraries should be prepared to provide multi-format access to the author's substantial audiences. ["This chilling speculative fiction is perfect for readers seeking the next Handmaid's Tale": LJ 9/15/17 review of the Harper hc.]-Terry Hong, -Smithsonian -BookDragon, Washington, DC © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

Set in Minnesota in a dystopian future in which evolution is going haywire, much of this startling new work of speculative fiction by Erdrich (LaRose) takes the form of a diary by pregnant Cedar Hawk Songmaker addressed to her unborn child. Happily raised and well-educated by her adopted parents Sera and Glen Songmaker, Cedar decides nevertheless to visit her Ojibwe birth family on the rez up north. But times are strange: "our world is running backward. Or forward. Or maybe sideways." Flora and fauna are taking on prehistoric characteristics, and there is talk of viruses. It isn't long before pregnant women are being rounded up. Cedar meets up again with her baby's father, Phil, and for a while she hides with him. But eventually she is caught by the authorities, who reveal nothing about what is happening. A hospital incarceration, escape, violence, and murder ensue as Cedar and other pregnant women she meets along the way-helped by the valiant Sera, Cedar's adoptive mother-will do anything to protect themselves and their babies. Erdrich's characters are brave and conscientious, but none of them really come across as people; they act mostly as vehicles for Erdrich's ideas. Those ideas, however-reproductive freedom, for one, and faith in and respect for the natural world-are strikingly relevant. Erdrich has written a cautionary tale for this very moment in time. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Summary
<p>A New York Times Notable Book of 2017</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p> <p>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.</p>
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