Louise Erdich, sets up The Plague of Doves around the murder of an entire family on the border of the Ojibwe Indian Reservation. The murder lead to the hanging of three Ojibwe men. This sets off a chain of events that link the people of the town together through time. Multiple voices take turns narrating the novel and each one builds on the other. Evelina is a young girl who is trying to grow in a place shaped by loss. Judge Coutts bends the law in order to give himself the ability to love a woman. Mooshum, who narrowly escapes death, goes on to tell tales to anyone willing to listen. The novel bleeds through time, from tribal lore to modern day. The implications of the crime reverberate strongly throughout the novel.
Erdich holds her subjects up to an unforgiving light by writing without even a trace of romance in her words.The intense scenes pulse even when the reader shuts the book. It takes careful reading to grasp the plot that sometimes leaps from one year and place to the next, but it is worth it. Endrich enlightens readers by proving that there is so much more to a person than meets the eye.