After years of incarceration for a crime she never intended to commit, Tookie has finally found stability with a husband she adores and a new job as a bookseller and a local bookshop in Minneapolis. But one day, the store’s most persistent – and often most annoying – customer, Flora, dies. It seems that even in the afterlife, Flora can’t help returning to the bookstore, and she begins to haunt it. Tookie sets out to solve the mystery of Flora’s death and release her from the bookstore before it’s too late.

Louise Erdrich has once again woven a beautiful and memorable story about the nuances of life and death and everything in between. From the first page, Tookie pulls readers right into her story, making you feel the hurt, confusion, and frustration of her incarceration. Tookie is an easy character to invest in, and Erdrich’s writing is, as always, completely lovely. It can be emotionally difficult to read at times, given that much of the novel centers around recent events such as the murder of George Floyd and the pandemic, but this also shows what an important read The Sentence is and will continue to be.

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