Future Home of the Living God

Future Home of the Living God

A Novel

Book - 2017
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A New York Times Notable Book of 2017

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Publisher: New York, NY :, Harper,, [2017]
Edition: First edition
Copyright Date: ♭2017
ISBN: 9780062694058
Characteristics: 269 pages


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CRRL_MegRaymond Jan 05, 2018

A dystopian vision of the future awaits pregnant Cedar Hawk Songmaker, who was born on an Ojibwe reservation and adopted by white liberals.

Dec 27, 2017

It's an enjoyable read (a story line with some fairly unique content, an oblique method of revealing important details, and characters/relationships described so well you probably know someone/have felt exactly like that. The description of giving birth was like being there).

But it's not the best thing I've ever read (Cedar has wa-a-ay too many successful escapes after capture thanks to a never-ending stream of extremely smart and fortuitous helpers in some fairly unlikely situations. Best "suspension of disbelief" scenario: Two heavily pregnant, sedentary women descending hand over hand down a thin rope on the outside of a multi-story building (oh, come on!!)).

And then the end - oh, the end! The ending leaves one thinking there must be - had better be! - a sequel in the works.

DPLjennyp Dec 19, 2017

There's a lot going on in this book and while the various threads aren't always successful Erdrich gives readers lots to think about.

Dec 16, 2017

Oh, Louise. You had a bucket of herring, many of them red, and you threw them all around in this book. I found myself gulping it down, hoping the flavors would meld, but was thwarted in my expectation of a satisfying meal. Phil has wings, then doesn't, tantalizing mentions of reverse evolution are never fleshed out, many of the finest characters disappear, and in a highly surveilled dystopian world a woman manages to hide a subversive journal for nine months, many of them in captivity. I was captive to the book too, and sad to see it dissolve into a stew of religious fever dreams and unresolved imaginings. So many flashes of brilliance failing to coalesce.

janefmooradian Dec 14, 2017

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

Nov 26, 2017

Ha! I'm selective in the dystopian novel I select. This one was masterfully written with wit, humor, and contemplative narrative. An interesting and engaging platform to add themes of adoption, individual rights, freedom, betrayal. I think this one of my top Erdrich books. A must!

PimaLib_MaryG Nov 21, 2017

I have been waiting for this list since its publication was announced last Spring. And it did not disappoint. In this tale reminiscent of "Children of Men" and "The Handmaid's Tale", Erdrich gives us a fresh perspective on a dystopian future. In the not so distant future as society is falling apart, Cedar Songmaker (that's her white, hippie name; her Indian name is Mary Potts) finds that she is pregnant at about the same time that she receives a letter from her birth mother. Evolution seems to be going through some kind of reversal, yet Cedar has faith that her child will be alright. Her situation becomes increasingly precarious as the government starts rounding up pregnant women. Nobody knows what becomes of the women or their babies.

Nicr Oct 16, 2017

Handmaid's Tale-like dystopian nightmare, this one taking place at the very beginning of the disruption to society as it was becoming known. The cable networks have been seized, evangelical movements are on the rise, food and gas are scarce, pregnant women are being rounded up and incarcerated--and the narrator is pregnant. Lags slightly on the reservation, but overall a propulsive, harrowing read.

Sep 19, 2017

As a Minnesotan I am embarrassed that it is the first book by this wonderful author I have read. As a Roman Catholic and adoptive father, I am appreciative that Erdrich has tackled these issues and more in this piece of innovative dystopian fiction.


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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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