I’m reading The Nightwatch Man. It’s by Louise Erdrich. She’s a great writer, this isn’t the first one of her books I’ve read. The Nightwatch Man won a Pulitzer Prize. It’s a good book. But I’m not enjoying it, and I can’t explain why.
Ms. Erdrich writes with many of the mechanisms I enjoy: story-driven with minimal description, unique well-developed characters, mysticism. But for some reason, I have a hard time connecting to her books. I also read Tracks and Love Medicine. It was some time ago, but what I remember is feeling about the same as I do now, never fully invested, though I liked the other two enough to finish them.
I like the protagonist of The Night Watchman, there’s an important issue at the heart of the story. But I just don’t care what happens from page to page. I feel bad about it. I should care.
It’s not the cultural difference, she writes from a native American perspective. I’ve read hundreds of books about other cultures, including Native Americans, often connecting on a deep level.
I want to love Louse Erdrich. But I’m going to put this book down for now. This morning a disturbing image from the book was foremost in my waking mind. Though its disturbing aspects are not why I’m not enjoying it. It just doesn’t feel worthwhile to carry these images for the takeaway.
I know some books require the right time. Hopefully, this is one of them. I wanted her to be a go-to, someone that when I really need a book, I know she’s going to come through. She is that good and so many books! Sadly, we are not meant for each other, and I can’t figure out why.
Have you read this book? Are you an Erdrcich fan? If so, please school me, I feel like I’m missing out.