Tuesday, November 14, 2017

The Future Home of the Living God by Louise Erdrich

In a world of governmental breakdown, wars, and natural disasters, winters without snow, the over expansion of American government, something--perhaps a virus-- has tampered with genomes to set off a cavalcade of reverse evolution.

In this world lives one twenty-six year old pregnant woman, Cedar, writing to her unborn child. After an ultrasound, the doctor tells her to flee and go into hiding. Congress has revitalized articles of the Patriot Act to round up pregnant women, searching medical data bases, considering it an 'issue of national security.'

Cedar decides to seek out her birth parents on an Ojibwa reservation. Her adoptive parents warn her about an impending state of emergency. Siri and GPS no longer work, the world is falling apart. But Cedar is determined.

As she nears the reservation she sees a billboard. "Endtime at Last! Are You Ready to Rapture?," and another that reads "Future Home of the Living God."

Cedar had turned to Catholicism for an extended family. She writes and publishes a magazine "of Catholic inquiry." Jesuit theologian Pierre Teilhard de Chardin thought evolution was bringing humanity to perfection. But all creation is devolving, backward, to prehistoric forms. Is God asleep at the wheel? Has God abandoned Earth? Will the written word die out, incomprehensible to whatever humanity is becoming? Is humanity losing its spark of the divine, their souls?

Cedar's birth father is nonplussed. "Indians have been adapting since before 1492 so I guess we'll keep adapting." Cedar counters, "But the world is going to pieces." "It's always going to pieces," Eddy replies.

Aware of the beauty of the vanishing 'now', haunted by an unknown future, Cedar must hide from the  American Government, now the Church of the New Constitution, which is rounding up pregnant women, controlling who is bred and who is born, endeavoring to save humanity.

Louise Erdrich's novel The Future of the Living God  is many things: an extended letter to an unborn child, the story of a woman seeking her family, a fable warning of the over-extension of governmental power, a warning of the consequences of tampering with nature. It is a theological reflection and speculative fiction. And it is the story of resistance and the fight for self-determination.

I received a free ebook from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.

Future Home of the Living God
Louise Erdrich
On Sale Date: November 14, 2017
ISBN: 9780062694058, 0062694057
Hardcover $28.99 USD, $35.99 CAD