This is a collection of related short stories of life on the Spokane Indian reservation in Washington state. There is a lot of drinking, dancing, and driving. The characters in the stories long for the heroic pre-reservation life. Alexie does a good job describing the problems and struggles of life on the reservation. The recurring characters are interesting if not compelling.
After reading Elizabeth Strout’s brilliant novels “The Burgess Boys” and “Amy and Isabelle” which tackles the ideas of the impact of our past lives on our current. Alexie addresses that theme as well: “How much do we remember of what hurts us most? I’ve been thinking about pain, how each of us constructs our past to justify what we feel now.” (p 196). He sees us as reconstructing our past as much as our past constructing our present.
This is a nice, quick read but if you are looking to be immersed in other lives there are better options. This book is rated higher than my 3 stars on GoodReads and Amazon so be sure to read those reviews; they may see things I don’t.