A small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the store's most annoying customer, Flora. Tookie, who has landed a job selling books after years of incarceration, must solve the mystery of this haunting while at the same time trying to understand all that occurs in Minneapolis during a year of grief, astonishment, isolation, and reckoning.
The many-hued, finely patterned weave of Erdrich’s funny, evocative, painful, and redemptive ghost story includes strands of autobiography and even cameo appearance ... The story of Tookie’s body-snatching caper and subsequent horrifically long sentence is hilariously ludicrous and heartbreaking; the tale of how reading saved her life in prison is deeply affirming ... Erdrich’s insights into what her city experienced in 2020 are piercing; all her characters are enthralling, and her dramatization of why books are essential to our well-being is resounding.
A scintillating story about a motley group of Native American booksellers haunted by the spirit of a customer ... More than a gripping ghost story, this offers profound insights into the effects of the global pandemic and the collateral damage of systemic racism. It adds up to one of Erdrich’s most sprawling and illuminating works to date.
[Erdich] turns her eye to various kinds of hauntings, all of which feel quite real to the affected characters ... The novel’s humor is mordant ... Erdrich’s love for bookselling is clear, as is her complicated affection for Minneapolis and the people who fight to overcome institutional hatred and racism. A novel that reckons with ghosts—of both specific people and also the shadows resulting from America’s violent, dark habits.