Little House by Any Other Name Might Smell Like: Birchbark House

The Birchbark House by Louise Erdrich. Hyperion, 1999.

It’s Little House but from the Native American perspective! I love it.

Erdrich accomplishes a lovely coming of age story with many of the same devices Wilder uses. Incredibly specific detail, a gentle narrative that strays from close 3rd limited to omniscient when it needs to. Family stories scattered throughout.

But Erdrich does more—she allows her protagonist to suffer (she loses her baby brother), and she takes the spirituality of the culture very seriously. Despite the author having these contemporary sensibilities, the book still has the timeless feel that Wilder’s have. Lovely.