New York Times Bestseller
“Dazzling. . . . A hard-won love letter to readers and to booksellers, as well as a compelling story about how we cope with pain and fear, injustice and illness. One good way is to press a beloved book into another's hands. Read The Sentence and then do just that.”—USA Today, Four Stars
“A bewitching novel. . . . Strange, enchanting and funny: a work about motherhood, doom, regret and the magic—dark, benevolent and every shade in between—of words on paper.”—Molly Young, New York Times
In this stunning novel, Louise Erdrich creates a wickedly funny ghost story: a tale of passion, of a complex marriage, and of a woman’s relentless errors.
The Sentence asks what we owe to the living, to the dead, to the reader, and to the book. A small independent bookstore in Minneapolis is haunted from November 2019 to November 2020 by the store’s most annoying customer. Flora dies on All Souls’ Day, but she simply won’t leave the store. Tookie, who has landed a job selling books after years of incarceration that she survived by reading “with murderous attention,” 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 furious reckoning.
The Sentence begins on All Souls’ Day 2019 and ends on All Souls’ Day 2020. Its mystery and proliferating ghost stories during this one year propel a narrative as rich, emotional, and profound as anything Louise Erdrich has written.