"Every so often something shatters like ice and we are in the river of our existence," says Judge Antone Bazil Coutts, one of four voices who narrate the rich, troubling history of Pluto, North Dakota, in Louise Erdrich's novel The Plague of Doves
(HarperCollins). There is the pragmatic voice of Evelina, the self-proclaimed "half-crazy, half-drugged, half-Chippewa," who listens endlessly to her grandfather Mooshum's stories so that she might understand why the loss of her ancestors' land is lodged inside her forever. There is the lyric, dream-edged voice of Marn Wolde, who marries, then murders the über-charismatic preacher, Billy Peace, teaches herself to withstand the bite of her beloved copperhead, and dreams of a life serving eggs at the 4-B diner. And there is Dr. Cordelia Lochren, who was only a baby when her entire family was murdered, an event that caused many life stories in Pluto to be revised again and again.
— Pam Houston