Shelf Control #322: The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich

Shelves final

Welcome to Shelf Control — an original feature created and hosted by Bookshelf Fantasies.

Shelf Control is a weekly celebration of the unread books on our shelves. Pick a book you own but haven’t read, write a post about it (suggestions: include what it’s about, why you want to read it, and when you got it), and link up! For more info on what Shelf Control is all about, check out my introductory post, here.

Want to join in? Shelf Control posts go up every Wednesday. See the guidelines at the bottom of the post, and jump on board!

Title: The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse
Author: Louise Erdrich
Published: 2001
Length: 384 pages

What it’s about (synopsis via Goodreads):

For more than a half century, Father Damien Modeste has served his beloved Native American tribe, the Ojibwe, on the remote reservation of Little No Horse. Now, nearing the end of his life, Father Damien dreads the discovery of his physical identity, for he is a woman who has lived as a man. To further complicate his quiet existence, a troubled colleague comes to the reservation to investigate the life of the perplexing, possibly false saint Sister Leopolda. Father Damien alone knows the strange truth of Leopolda’s piety, but these facts are bound up in his own secret. He is faced with the most difficult decision: Should he tell all and risk everything . . . or manufacture a protective history for Leopolda, though he believes her wonder-working is motivated solely by evil?

In a masterwork that both deepens and enlarges the world of her previous novels set on the same reservation, Louise Erdrich captures the essence of a time and the spirit of a woman who felt compelled by her beliefs to serve her people as a priest. The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse is a work of an avid heart, a writer’s writer, and a storytelling genius. 

How and when I got it:

I have no idea! I’ve had a paperback edition on my shelf for well over 10 years.

Why I want to read it:

I’ve read several of Louise Erdrich’s books — but not nearly enough. I’m always impressed by her gorgeous writing, and even had the pleasure of attending a book talk of hers several years ago, where she was so incredibly impressive and passionate and inspiring.

I’ve missed out on her early novels so far, and should probably start by going back to Love Medicine (published 1984). Goodreads lists The Last Report as the 6th book in the Love Medicine series, but my impression (and I could be wrong) is that these books aren’t so much a series as they are novels set in the same place/same world. In any case, of the books listed as part of the series, this is the one I actually own, so it’s the one I’m most likely to read!

As for The Last Report itself, I think the synopsis sounds fascinating. I really don’t remember buying this book, but I’m guessing that I stumbled across it at a book sale, read the back, and wanted to know more!

My book group will be reading Louise Erdrich’s most recent novel, The Sentence, this fall, and the reality is that I’m unlikely to get to The Last Report between now and then. But who knows — maybe after The Sentence, I’ll be inspired to go back and read her early books as well.

If you’ve read this book (or other books connected to Love Medicine), I’d love to know if you think they need to be read in order — or if not, where you recommend starting.

And if you haven’t read this…

What do you think? Would you read this book?

Please share your thoughts!


Want to participate in Shelf Control? Here’s how:

  • Write a blog post about a book that you own that you haven’t read yet.
  • Add your link in the comments or link back from your own post, so I can add you to the participant list.
  • Check out other posts, and…

Have fun!

12 thoughts on “Shelf Control #322: The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse by Louise Erdrich

  1. This was one of the first Erdrich novels I read and until The Sentence I have’t thought any of her others were as good. (I liked several of them, but not a smuch as this one).

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