LaRose by Louise Erdrich, 373 pages.
I don't think that I have ever disliked a book by Erdrich. For me, her latest ranks among her best, along with The Master Butcher's Sing Club, and The Round House, and also, I guess, A Plague of Doves. Erdrich is an imaginative, compelling, and enthralling sort of author.
When Landreaux Iron takes a shot at a large buck he has been hunting all season, his sense of accomplishment dissolves as he realizes that instead of the buck he has accidentally shot and killed five-year-old Dusty Ravitch, his neighbor's child. Through the whole of the book the two families grapple with the loss of Dusty. LaRose, Landreaux's own five-year-old, takes on the role of son for both families. He is a connection for both families and is, in turn, connected to the LaRoses of generations past, whose stories are woven into the tale.
For some reason I felt compelled to read the one-star reviews of this book on Amazon and to see what sort of things would get good reviews from them. For some, non-readers apparently, five stars meant a really nice pair of yoga pants or a deep-fat fryer. Others who reviewed more books ranged from the crumudgeonly who liked nothing, to enthusiastic readers to whom this book did not speak. Nothing pleases all readers, but I still strongly recommend LaRose.