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What other readers are saying about this title:
Louise , you did it again - another masterpiece ! You are brilliant writing about children !What a sad true tale - yes , I know it's true . The same , overwhelming sadness as "The Bingo Palace " and "Books and Islands in Objibwe Country" . You are deserving of a Nobel literature prize . I hope I see it in my lifetime .
posted Aug 9, 2011 at 3:56PM
**** 1/2 stars. Ms. Erdrich writes beautifully even when pain and its infliction is the primary theme of her book, or perhaps because pain is the "other" character in her novel. When Irene America discovers that her husband, Gil, has been reading her diary, she begins a secret Blue Notebook, stashed securely in a safe-deposit box. There she records the truth about her life and her marriage, while turning her Red Diary, hidden where Gil will find it, into a manipulative farce. Irene is resuming work on her doctoral thesis. Gil, her husband, has gained notoriety as an artist through his emotionally revealing portraits of his wife. His work is conflicted: adoring and sensual, but also humiliating and shocking. This mirrors his efforts to love her and destroy her. Irene and Gil fight to keep up appearances for their three children: fourteen-year-old genius Florian, who escapes his family's unraveling with joints and a stolen wine; Riel, their only daughter, an eleven-year-old desperately planning to preserve her family; and sweet five-year-old Stoney. As her home increasingly becomes a place of violence and secrets, and she drifts into alcoholism, Irene moves to end her marriage. Shadow Tag fearlessly explores the complex nature of love, the boundaries of identity, and one family's struggle for survival. Ms. Erdrich has written one of my all time top 10 favorite books ever!!: " Love Medicine ". She writes about the intricacies of love and pain better than anyone! Highly recommend with the caveat that this is not a "feel good", happy novel. It is hard to read such an honest account a tortured relationship.
posted Oct 1, 2013 at 12:31AM
Kim B said:
This must have been a difficult book to write; it was difficult to read. As always, Louise Erdrich writes beautifully but what a sad novel.
posted Oct 22, 2013 at 12:31PM
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Beautiful; introspective; uncovers her husband reading her diary; works on her thesis about George Catlin; begins to write lies in her diary; struggles to escape.
Artistic reputation built on series of portraits of Irene; pigeonholed as a Native American painter; he reads her diary; his dark side begins to show.