The Sentence

Tookie works in a bookstore, and Flora—her most annoying, and most loyal, customer—has just died. This does not mean she has left the bookstore. Tookie hears Flora’s clothes rustling around, the sound of her earrings jangling, finds books with Flora’s name in the title tossed off the shelves and left on the floor. What follows is a ghost story with more than one kind of ghost. The story begins on All Souls Day 2019 and ends on the same day in 2020, and in between Tookie and her kin spend a year in a Minneapolis rife with grief and fury and fear. Flora’s refusal to pass on mirrors a similar refusal to reckon with the nation’s history, to acknowledge wrongs and make amends. A great many dark endings make themselves available, but Erdrich refuses the easy tragedy and opts instead for a complicated and persistent story of love.