The Plague of Doves

by Louise Erdrich

Start Free Trial

The Daniels Summary

Download PDF PDF Page Citation Cite Share Link Share

Last Updated on February 4, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 384

For three years they wander in the desert, and Marn has two children while Billy has visions. She has always had faith in Billy but wants to go home to take her children, Judah and Lilith, to see her parents. She is unable to disappear into her pictures in the desert like this.

Her parents are now more resigned to Billy, and Marn feels they will come around if they go home. Billy argues that he has just started his ministry here: eight retired persons who have joined the congregation on two acres, everyone living in motorhomes. Marn says that Billy has reservation land, so they could buy more land near her parents’ home and open a God-based bookstore. She wants to go home.

One night, Billy announces that the whole congregation will move and park their motorhomes on her parents’ farm. Marn’s parents are pleased to see their daughter and grandchildren; after dinner, Billy and Marn’s father go out to the barn and talk about Marn’s brothers. Billy says that if they put Uncle Warren in the state home, Marn would be able to have the farm, as her brothers are not doing well.

Marn is unsure. She is nineteen but feels so old. She also feels filled with the Holy Ghost, some strange power which she decides to keep to herself. Her brothers have left and call only for money, so Marn’s father is now working the place alone.

Billy begins helping straighten out the mess, learns how to use the farm equipment, and becomes thrilled at living with parents for the first time. He earns money from his preaching, and the farmhouse becomes the focus of this. All the family join in, and Billy becomes fat. 

Marn begins to feel she is no longer herself; she no longer sees pictures, and Billy is no longer himself either. He is huge and almost supernatural. They are the Daniels. The farm is made over to them. 

One afternoon, thunderclouds gather as Billy is wringing his hands and holding a rain prayer meeting. It begins to rain. But then the lightning begins, and it strikes Billy twice. He stands and goes on praying loudly. Marn says they need to stop him, but her mother says nobody will ever stop him.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access

Satan: Hijacker of a Planet Summary


The Kindred Summary