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The Painted Drum.

THE PAINTED DRUM. Louise Erdrich. 2005. Read by Anna Fields. 8 cds. 9 hrs. Harper Audio. 0-06-082816-1. $39.95. Cardboard; plot, author notes. SA

Faye Travers and her mother own an estate appraisal business in New Hampshire specializing in Native American artifacts. On one of her jobs, Faye comes across a painted drum and feels a certain spiritual connection that compels her to steal it. Realizing the drum's origin is Ojibwa, from the area where her grandmother was born, Faye decides to return it to the reservation in North Dakota.

Fields has an incredibly versatile style in her reading, fully voicing the numerous characters. She has an exceptional ability to capture the intense emotions expressed in each of three mother-child relationships that make up this novel. These women must face the harshest reality that any mother can know: the death or near-death of their children. Erdrich has woven the mysticism, legend and grace of the Native American spirit into this multigenerational tale. She uses the painted drum as an object of spiritual continuity to tie together the family stories told by three different narrators. The powerful story of the drum's creation by Ojibwa elder Bernard Shaawano after wolves attack his daughter helps the reader/listener understand the energy of the drum and its influence on the lives of those who have come in contact with it. Carol Kellerman, retired Lib/Media Spec., Santa Fe, NM

S--Recommended for senior high school students.

A--Recommended for advanced students and adults. This code will help librarians and teachers working in high schools where there are honors and advanced placement students. This also will help extend KLIATT's usefulness in public libraries.
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Author:Kellerman, Carol
Article Type:Audiobook review
Date:May 1, 2006
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