With many thanks to my friend, Will Byrnes, I read The Round House and while stingy with five stars, this book was without question, five stars. If I could give it more, I would.
I had prior knowledge of the problem of crimes against women on U. S. Indian Reservations specifically the inability of determining jurisdiction of areas, adding to the fact (due to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling) that on the reservation, non-Indians cannot be charged with crimes committed on Indian reservations, so I wasn’t surprised with the storyline, actually two intertwining storylines, both of which were exceptional.
Some facts on crimes against women on U. S. Indian reservations:
• Native women suffer violent crime at the highest rates in the country.
• On many reservations, Native women are murdered at a rate more than 10 times the national average.
• Violent crime rates in Indian Country are more than 2.5 times the national rate; some reservations face a rate 20 times higher.*August 23, 2012
“Early this week, two U.S. House Representatives members and the Tacoma News Tribune took clear stands against protecting women from sexual assault. Representatives Todd Akin, R-Missouri, and Steve King, R-Iowa, did so by promoting the concept of “legitimate rape.” The News Tribune did so by attacking the only real hope for combating the national pandemic of violence against Native women.” (Later in the story, then VP candidate Paul Ryan voted to omit the tribal protections.)*
*http://crosscut.com/2012/08/23/gender/110172/revictimizing-native-women-political-purposes/As a nation, what is wrong with us, this continued injustice? My brief review
Louise Erdrich successfully blended dialog, scenery and storylines into two related and life changing events; the rape of a wife and mother and the ‘coming of age’ for her son, Joe. The Ojibwe reservation is where the mother, Geraldine helps women on the reservation, the father, Bazil, a tribal judge and the story as told by their 13 year old, Joe.
Geraldine, the woman, is brutally raped and afterward without telling anything about the assault, goes into self-imposed seclusion leaving Joe and his father, rudderless.
Joe and his two devoted friends support him in his efforts to try to determine who was responsible for changing his life so quickly and dramatically. They want to make it right again.
For an in depth and superb review, my friend Will Byrnes The Round House
offers the best. After reading Will’s review you will surely call or go to your library or bookstore get the book, put down what you’re reading and begin an unforgettable journey delivered by Louise Erdrich and enhanced only by Will's review.
Further links to the subject of crimes against women on U. S. Indian reservations:
From Indian Law Resource Center
Futures without Violence - Violence Against Women
** “The confusing division of authority among tribal, federal and state governments results in a jurisdictional maze that is complicated by the lack of tribal courts’ criminal jurisdiction over non-Indians, the practical impact of Public Law 280, and other limitations on tribal criminal jurisdiction.”
While Aljazeer is certainly a controversial news organization, curiously enough this was the very most comprehensive fact, figures and videos about violence against women on United States Indian Reservations.Justice Denied
NT Times Native Americans Struggle With Reservation Rape
article, May 22 , 2012