The Painted Drum Author:Louise Erdrich While appraising the estate of a New Hampshire family descended from a North Dakota Indian agent, Faye Travers is startled to discover a rare moose skin and cedar drum fashioned long ago by an Ojibwe artisan. And so begins an illuminating journey both backward and forward in time, following the strange passage of a powerful yet delicate instrume... more »nt, and revealing the extraordinary lives it has touched and defined. Compelling and unforgettable, Louise Erdrich's Painted Drum explores the often fraught relationship between mothers and daughters, the strength of family, and the intricate rhythms of grief with all the grace, wit, and startling beauty that characterizes this acclaimed author's finest work.« less
We begin and end with two women, mother and daughter, who appraise estates for a living. Daughter Faye finds an Ojibwe moose-skin and cedar drum and she recognizes it as something with a history and of value that cannot be bought. She decides to rescue it.
We then learn, bit by bit, how the drum came to be and how it figured in so many lives over time. The stories are told with the usual sensitivity and care that have come to characterize Louse Erdrich's writing. It is fulfilling and illuminating.