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The Sentence by [Louise Erdrich]

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The Sentence Kindle Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 4,348 ratings

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From the Publisher

Editorial Reviews Review

An Amazon Best Book of November 2021: Flora, an independent bookstore’s most burdensome customer, is even more exasperating in death, deciding to haunt her favorite haunt, Birchbark Books. The name of this beloved indie will be familiar to many Minneapolitans, as it’s the real-life bookstore run by Louise Erdrich, who plays a supporting role in this love letter to books and bookstore culture. It’s also no ordinary ghost story, as the motley crew of characters, who effortlessly endear themselves to you despite their shortcomings (and maybe because of them), reckons with profound wounds, both self-inflicted and societal. Readers, this novel just might compel you to confront some of your own, as well. That’s what the best books do. —Erin Kodicek, Amazon Editor --This text refers to the hardcover edition.


A cathartic and comforting story that book lovers will gobble up.

-- "Real Simple"

An unexpected ghost story that is both a timely novel with laugh-out-loud moments as well as a beautiful commentary on identity.

-- "Barnes&"

Her dramatization of why books are essential to our well-being is resounding.

-- "Booklist (starred review)"

More than a gripping ghost story, The Sentence offers profound insights into the effects of the global pandemic and the collateral damage of systemic racism.

-- "Publishers Weekly (starred review)" --This text refers to the audioCD edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B08TWYG991
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Harper (November 9, 2021)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ November 9, 2021
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 3276 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Screen Reader ‏ : ‎ Supported
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 395 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 4,348 ratings

About the author

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Louise Erdrich is one of the most gifted, prolific, and challenging of American novelists. Her fiction reflects aspects of her mixed heritage: German through her father, and French and Ojibwa through her mother. She is the author of many novels, the first of which, Love Medicine, won the National Book Critics Circle Award and the last of which, The Round House, won the National Book Award for Fiction in 2012. She lives in Minnesota.

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
4,348 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on November 15, 2021
77 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on November 13, 2021
73 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on November 9, 2021
71 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on December 12, 2021
54 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on November 18, 2021
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Captivating Follow-up to The Night Watchman
Reviewed in the United States on November 18, 2021
Louise Erdrich follows her Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Night Watchman, with another perspective on Native American culture and its ties to the spirit world. Tookie, a bookstore clerk with a prison record, finds herself haunted by Flora, a customer who mysteriously died while reading a book about a nineteenth century Indian woman. As ghostly incidents mount, Tookie becomes convinced that it was the book that killed Flora.

The Sentence is packed with character gems, from a rebellious daughter transformed by motherhood, to a cranky bookstore customer for whom reading is his lifeblood, to a young man who believes himself the descendent of an immortal spirit.

There are gems of writing as well:

“The sky was so gray it matched the cool bark of the trees.”

“The dress rattled in a friendly way.”

“We skied weightlessly through the days as if they were a landscape of repeating features.”

Other observations show how Tookie’s vocation mirrors a vanishing American culture: “Small bookstores have the romance of doomed intimate spaces about to be erased by unfettered capitalism.”

There’s so much to like in this novel of marriage, family, and conflict. Erdrich even manages to weave into her story the COVID pandemic, the George Floyd murder, and the 2020 Presidential election.

It’s a shame that this superb novelist has contaminated The Sentence with pervasive foul language. It reflects negatively on her characters and on herself. For that reason, I must downgrade this captivating book to a three-star rating.
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35 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on November 19, 2021
16 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on January 29, 2022
11 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Jon A. Crowcroft
5.0 out of 5 stars funny&touching and in the end, satisfying story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 3, 2022
One person found this helpful
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D. M. Dickson
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just ghosts.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 21, 2022
mary goosey
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 12, 2022
2.0 out of 5 stars If you enjoy ghosts…
Reviewed in Canada on April 27, 2022
Kindle Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Lovely prose. Unusual story.
Reviewed in Australia on May 4, 2022
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